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How political leaders reacted to Trump’s ‘go back’ tweets – CTV News

July 15th, 2019

CTVNews.ca Staff, with files from The Associated Press
Published Monday, July 15, 2019 9:52PM EDT

Political leaders including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Theresa May and former U.S. presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton have all reacted to racist tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump, who said that four non-white congresswomen, three of them born in America, should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Here’s a look at what they said.

Justin Trudeau

The prime minister told reporters in Petawawa, Ont., on Monday that “Canadians and indeed people around the world know exactly what I think about those particular comments. That is not how we do things in Canada.”

Jagmeet Singh

The NDP leader, who has been the target of racism in the past, called the tweets “a sad & ugly display of racism by a President that shows no interest in, or ability to unite people.”

Theresa May

Through a spokesperson, the outgoing British prime minister said that she thinks that “the language which was used to refer to the women was completely unacceptable.”

Boris Johnson

The favourite to replace May as U.K. prime minister next month said: “If you’re the leader of a great multiracial, multicultural society you simply cannot use that kind of language.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The congresswoman from New York, who was one of the targets of Trump’s tweets, told reporters that the president “does not know how to defend his policies and so what he does is attack us personally.”

Ayanna Pressley

The Massachusetts Congresswoman, another of Trump’s targets, said that the “xenophobic, bigoted” tweets are a “disruptive distraction from the issues.” She warned: “Do not take the bait.”

Ilhan Omar

The Minnesota Representative, who is originally from Somalia, called the tweets directed at her and three others an attempt to “pit us against” each other. She and Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan congresswoman and Trump’s other target, called for impeachment.

Mitt Romney

The Utah senator and 2012 Republican presidential nominee called the president’s comments “destructive, demeaning and disunifying.”

John Kasich

The former Ohio governor and congressman urged fellow Republicans to speak out against the comments, which he said contradict the “foundation of our country and all that we teach our children.”

Lindsey Graham

The Republican senator from South Carolina told Fox News that Trump should “take on their policies” instead of launching personal attacks. He also called the women “a bunch of communists (who) hate Israel (and) hate our own country.”

Mitch McConnell

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, declined to comment on the situation, telling reporters he would “address whatever questions you have” at a news conference on Tuesday.

Nancy Pelosi

The U.S. Congressional Majority Leader, a Democrat, said that Trump’s comments “reaffirm his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again.”

Kevin McCarthy

The House Minority Leader, a Republican, told reporters that he doesn’t think Trump is a racist but said of the congresswomen that “this is their country” and “they have a right to give their opinion.”

Hillary Clinton

The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee suggested that Trump attacked the women because “they brought attention to the inhumane conditions they saw at this administration’s (migrant) detention camps.”

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Donald Trump said Ilhan Omar is ‘pro al-Qaida’ — she’s said nothing of the sort – Global News

July 15th, 2019

First, U.S. President Donald Trump issued a series of tweets on Sunday saying that a group of Democratic congresswoman could “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.”

He mentioned no names, but it was clear he was talking about a group of congresswomen who held a press conference Monday: Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

WATCH: Trump accuses Omar of hating Jews while defending tweets against congresswomen

On that same day, the president doubled down on his weekend tweets and reserved particular attention for Omar.

“I look at Omar, I don’t know, I’ve never met her. I hear the way she’s talked about al-Qaida. Al-Qaida has killed many Americans, she said you could ‘hold your chest out,’” Trump said.

“When she talked about the World Trade Center being knocked down, ‘some people,’ you remember, the famous ‘some people.’ These are people who in my opinion hate our country.”

He also issued a series of tweets, emphasizing his previous comments.

READ MORE: Democratic congresswomen denounce Trump’s Twitter attack, say it is a ‘distraction’

In Monday’s news conference, Omar, who was born in Somalia, said she did not want to dignify Trump’s remark about going back where they came from.

“I know that every single Muslim who has lived in this country, across the world, has heard that comment,” she said.

“So I will not dignify it with an answer because I know that every single Islamophobe, every single person who is hateful, who is driven by an ideology of othering, as this president is, rejoices in us responding to that, and as defending ourselves.”

WATCH: (April 15) Supporters of Ilhan Omar protest Trump tweet with pro-Trump demonstrators nearby

Nevertheless, Trump’s claim about how Omar has “talked about al-Qaida” invites closer scrutiny of what she actually said.

Omar never said “hold your chest out” while talking about al-Qaida, as Trump asserted.

The claim originates with a 2013 interview that Omar did with BelAhdan, a PBS show that focuses on Minnesota’s Middle Eastern community.

[embedded content]

Omar and host Ahmed Tharwat were talking about the names of terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, al-Shabaab and Hezbollah, and how they tend to be emphasized in Arabic instead of being translated.

Omar said, “that is a product of the sensationalized media. You have these sound bites, and you have these words and everybody says it with such an intensity, so it must mean, it must hold a bigger meaning.”

She then talked about a terrorism professor from college, who she said would add extra emphasis any time he said the names of certain terrorist groups.

READ MORE: Trump says congresswoman is ‘never happy’ with America and ‘hates Jews’

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“The thing that was interesting in this class, was every time the professor said al-Qaida, his shoulders went up and said al-Qaida, Hezbollah,” she said, laughing as she described his mannerisms.

“You don’t say America with an intensity, you don’t say England with an intensity, but you say these names because you want that word to carry wight, you want it to leave something.”

Omar’s remarks were cut out of the interview and circulated on conservative websites — the very clip circulated again on Twitter Monday, with a user saying, “here’s the clip that Trump is referencing with Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN) where she laughs while talking about ISIS and al-Qaida — Islamic terror groups that kill Americans, U.S. allies, and Jews.”

WATCH: (April 12) Trump tweets video suggesting Rep. Ilhan Omar was dismissive of 9-11

Omar did not mention ISIS in that clip — ISIS is an abbreviation of the English name, “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.”

Daesh is ISIS’ Arabic acronym.

Trump’s remark about “some people” originates with Omar’s speech to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) earlier this year.

[embedded content]

At that event, she said of Muslims that “for far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen. Frankly, I’m tired of it. And every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it.

“CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

Omar’s remarks were cut out into a video that circulated on social media. Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade questioned Omar’s loyalty to her country, saying, “you have to wonder if she’s an American first,” as noted by The Atlantic.

READ MORE: ‘We’re not going anywhere’: Congresswomen react after Trump tells them to leave the U.S.

Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw described her as the “first member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as ‘some people who did something.’”

Trump tweeted a video of her remarks himself, but it didn’t contain the full context of what she said.

In response, Omar tweeted that she has an “unwavering love” for the U.S.A.

In the Monday news conference, Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and Tlaib said Trump’s Twitter attack is a distraction.

Omar tweeted similar rhetoric the same day, re-tweeting a quote from author Toni Morrison.

“The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being.”

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University severs ties with researcher who was escorted out of National Microbiology Lab – CBC News

July 15th, 2019

The University of Manitoba has cut ties with a researcher who was escorted out the National Microbiology Lab (NML) in Winnipeg earlier this month, until an RCMP investigation is complete.

Dr. Xiangguo Qiu is a medical doctor and virologist who helped helped develop ZMapp, a vaccine for the deadly Ebola virus.

She was also an adjunct professor in the university’s department of medical microbiology — until Monday.

Her non-salaried position “has ended and all students she supervised have been reassigned, pending the RCMP investigation,” university spokesperson John Danakas said in an email.

Danakas was unavailable to provide further details, including the number of students affected.

Qiu could not be reached for comment. On Monday, her profile was still on the university website.

Qiu accepts a Governor General’s Innovation Award at Rideau Hall in 2018. (CBC News)

According to sources inside the NML, Qiu, her husband Keding Cheng and an unknown number of her students from China were removed from the lab on July 5. The level-4 virology facility — the only one in Canada — is equipped to work with the most serious and deadly human and animal diseases. 

Security access for the couple and the Chinese students was revoked.

Sources say this comes several months after IT specialists for the NML entered Qiu’s office after hours and replaced her computer. Her regular trips to China also started being denied.

At a meeting on July 8, NML staff were told the couple is on leave for an unknown period of time. They were told not to communicate with them.

Manitoba RCMP started an investigation after the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) contacted them on May 24.

The RCMP and PHAC say there is no threat to public safety.

PHAC is describing the situation as a possible “policy breach” and is taking steps to “resolve it expeditiously,” said Eric Morrissette, the health agency’s chief of media relations.

He declined further comment, citing privacy reasons.

Qiu received her medical degree from Hebei Medical University in 1985 and came to Canada for graduate studies in 1996.  

She is still affiliated with the university there and has brought in many students over the years to help with her work.

During a news conference on Monday, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said the Chinese Embassy in Toronto has not received any notification that Chinese citizens are involved.

“If indeed there are Chinese citizens involved, our embassy and consulates will provide consular assistance and earnestly protect their legitimate rights and interests according to law,” he said, according to an English transcript on the Chinese foreign ministry’s website.

It was not immediately clear if Qui is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or a Chinese national.

NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said he can’t comment on this specific case but says NATO is helping improve the resilience of allies when it comes to cyber espionage. (CBC News)

The situation also came up during a news conference with the secretary-general of NATO. 

Jens Stoltenberg, who toured CFB Petawawa on Monday and met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said at a news conference he couldn’t comment on this specific case, but appeared to suggest the possibility of espionage.

“What I can say in general is that we have seen increased efforts by the nations to spy on NATO allies in different ways,” he said . 

“This is partly about industrial espionage and it affects our military forces and military intelligence so this is something that we take very seriously.” 

There is no confirmation espionage is involved in this case.

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Two teens found after getting lost in Algonquin Park for four nights – The Globe and Mail

July 15th, 2019

Ms. Malek and Ms. Mirota are Girl Scouts with the Polish Scouting Association in Canada.

OPP photo

Two missing teens, who spent four nights in the woods alone after they were separated from their hiking group in Algonquin Park, have been found after an extensive search.

Marta Malek and Maya Mirota, both 16 and both from Kitchener, Ont., were missing since Thursday evening, when they were last seen by other hikers in the vast park in southeastern Ontario. An Ontario Provincial Police canine unit found them just before noon Monday, two kilometres off the trail.

“We are just so extremely happy that they were found,” said Agata Majerski, a member of Kitchener’s Polish community who started a Facebook page to spread the news of the young women’s disappearance.

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A CBC camera captured the teens smiling and waving Monday afternoon after they were found.

Ms. Malek and Ms. Mirota are Girl Scouts with the Polish Scouting Association in Canada. On July 7, they left for a six-day hike through Algonquin Park; adults were leading the group. The association expressed happiness they were found and said the teens had been well-prepared for the hike.

“By age 15 or 16, most [Scouts] have gained enough experience to venture out on wilderness trekking in groups, carrying gear and supplies for a whole week,” the association said in a statement. “It’s the culmination of several years of incremental preparation.”

On Thursday, the group split up to take different trails through the park but the two teens did not show up at their rendezvous point the next day, according to OPP spokesperson Bill Dickson.

That kicked off a massive search-and-rescue effort. By Saturday morning, dozens of police officers and trained volunteers were canvassing the rugged terrain.

An OPP helicopter and a plane provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry combed the forest from above, but the dense canopy made it hard to see the ground.

All search-and-rescue personnel were equipped with GPS locators so they wouldn’t end up lost themselves. Although many expressed interest in helping to look for the teens, the OPP discouraged volunteers from showing up lest they become lost in the thick brush.

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Rescuers were optimistic they would find the girls safely because Ms. Malek and Ms. Mirota were relatively experienced hikers and had supplies, including a tent, spare clothes and food and water. The OPP said the girls did everything they were supposed to do once they realized they were lost: stayed put, rationed food and water and waited for rescue.

The type of hike the girls were on is normally a rewarding experience, according to Michal Sokolski, chief commissioner of the Polish Boy Scouts, who has been on many similar treks with the organization. He commended the girls for using their training.

“They kept their wits about them and managed to use the training they’ve received and the preparations that they made in order to lead to, thankfully, a great result,” he said.

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Canadian student detained for alleged drug offences, China says – The Globe and Mail

July 15th, 2019

The Chinese government says a Canadian citizen it recently detained is being held for alleged drug offences.

It’s the first time Beijing has discussed details of the case publicly.

Relations between Ottawa and Beijing have been steadily worsening since last December when Canada arrested a senior executive from China’s flagship Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. on an extradition request from the United States. The Americans allege that Meng Wanzhou, the company’s chief financial officer, helped Huawei violate economic sanctions against Iran.

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Subsequently, China arrested two Canadians, including a former diplomat. The men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, have since been charged with espionage.

The Canadian arrested last week in the eastern Chinese city of Yantai has not been identified by name.

On Monday, however, China’s foreign ministry offered more information about the case.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said police authorities in Shandong province are investigating a “drug case involving foreign students” and that “one of them is a Canadian citizen.” The city of Yantai is in Shandong province.

“The case is now under investigation. The public security authority has made consular notifications to the embassies of relevant countries and will arrange consular visits,” Mr. Geng said.

“The Chinese side protects the legitimate rights and interests of those involved according to law.”

The Canadian’s detention, last week, occurred around the same time as arrests of other foreigners in China.

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On Tuesday, police in Xuzhou, a city in Jiangsu province, said it had detained 19 people on drug-related charges and that 16 of them were foreigners, including several British citizens. Xuzhou is about 620 kilometres from Yantai.

But China’s foreign spokesman said the Xuzhou and Yantai matters are unrelated. “There is no connection between this very case and another drug case involving foreigners, which is being investigated by the public security authority of Jiangsu province,” he said.

Over the past six months, China has ratcheted up the pressure since Ms. Meng’s arrest, restricting imports of Canadian canola, pork and beef. It also recently confiscated Mr. Kovrig’s reading glasses. While Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor remain in detention, Ms. Meng is free on bail in Vancouver as she awaits an extradition hearing to begin in early 2020.

A Canadian government official, granted anonymity by The Globe and Mail because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the government has no information to indicate the latest arrest is connected to the detentions of Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor.

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Congresswomen call Trump’s barbs a ‘disruptive distraction’ after renewed attacks – CBC News

July 15th, 2019

The message from the four Democratic congresswomen of colour targeted by U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets: “Do not take the bait.”

Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley said Tuesday that their “squad” is big, representing many Americans. She said Trump’s “xenophobic, bigoted” tweets are a “disruptive distraction from the issues.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said that “no matter what the president says,” the country “belongs to everyone.”

Watch the response from four Democratic congresswomen to Trump:

The four congresswomen of colour understood to be the target of the U.S. president’s recent barbs responded by telling their supporters to ‘not take the bait.’ 2:16

The quartet spoke after Trump tweeted over the weekend that they should go back to the “broken and crime infested” countries they came from “then come back and show us how … it is done.” Three of the four were born in the United States; one, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, is a refugee from Somalia.

Omar said the “garbage” from Trump is his plan to “pit us against” each other. She and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan called for impeachment.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said that “no matter what the president says,” the country “belongs to everyone.”

Watch as Trump renews his attacks on four Democratic congresswomen:

U.S. President Donald Trump renewed his attacks against four liberal congresswomen of colour after a series of weekend tweets targeting them. 1:54

Speaking at the White House Monday afternoon, Trump said he wasn’t concerned if people thought his tweets toward them were racist and accused the lawmakers of hating the United States.

“If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, you can leave, you can leave right now,” Trump said Monday at the White House.

Trump tweeted earlier in the day that the four “radical left congresswomen” ought to apologize to him for past remarks about Israel and about him.

His attack drew searing condemnation from Democrats who labelled the remarks racist and breathtakingly divisive. Trump, however, said that “a lot of people love” what he said.

Pelosi announces vote on resolution condemning comments

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump wants to “make America white again,” while Ocasio-Cortez said Trump “can’t conceive of an America that includes us.”

“Mr. President, the country I ‘come from,’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States,” she tweeted, adding that, “You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.”

Pelosi announced Monday that the House would be holding a vote on a resolution condemning Trump’s comments.

Omar also addressed herself directly to Trump in a tweet, writing: “You are stoking white nationalism [because] you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asked his opinion of the tweets on Monday, declined to call out Trump directly but said Canadians already know his position.

“I think Canadians and indeed people around the world know exactly what I think about those particular comments,” he said to reporters.

“That is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.”

Most Republicans have been silent about Trump’s tweets, but some, including Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick Toomey, spoke out on Monday. 

Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina — the only black Republican in the Senate — said that Trump had “interjected with unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language” in his tweets.

Scott also called for unity, saying “aiming for the lowest common denominator will only divide our nation further.

He also mentioned the “racial controversy” surrounding some of the Democratic presidential field concerning busing, saying “it is clear the Democratic Party has serious issues along these lines.”

John Kasich, a former governor of Ohio and an unsuccessful contender against Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, said the tweets were “deplorable and beneath the dignity of the office.”

And Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a Trump critic who recently took steps to leave his party, on Sunday called the remarks “racist and disgusting.”  

New asylum rule

Trump also moved to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants, escalating the clash between Republican and Democratic lawmakers over immigration policy.

According to a new rule published in the Federal Register, asylum seekers who pass through another country first will be ineligible for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The new rule, expected to go into effect Tuesday, applies to anyone arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, including children who have crossed the border alone. Some asylum seekers arriving at the border are from Africa but most are from Central America.

There are some exceptions:

  • If someone has been trafficked.
  • If the country the migrant passed through did not sign one of the major international treaties that govern how refugees are managed (though most Western countries have signed them).
  • If an asylum seeker sought protection in a country but was denied, then a migrant could still apply for U.S. asylum. 

But the move by Trump’s administration was meant to essentially end asylum protections as they now are on the southern border, reversing decades of U.S. policy on how refugees are treated. It comes as the government continues to take a hard line on migrants while the treatment of those who made it to the country is heavily criticized as inhumane. 

Attorney General William Barr said the U.S. is “a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed” by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of migrants at the southern border.

“This rule will decrease forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States,” Barr said in a statement. 

Legal challenge likely

The policy is almost certain to face a legal challenge.

U.S. law allows refugees to request asylum when they arrive at the U.S. regardless of how they did so. There is an exception for those who have come through a country considered to be “safe,” but the Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs asylum law, is vague on how a country is determined “safe”; it says “pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement.” 

Migrants from Guatemala are seen on the banks of the Rio Grande river before crossing illegally into the U.S. to turn themselves in to request asylum in El Paso, Texas, on June 11. The Trump administration on Monday moved to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants. (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)

Right now, the U.S. has such an agreement, known as a “safe third country,” only with Canada. Under a recent agreement with Mexico, Central American countries were considering a regional compact on the issue, but nothing has been decided.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt, who has litigated some of the major challenges to the Trump administration’s immigration policies, said the rule was unlawful. 

“The rule, if upheld, would effectively eliminate asylum for those at the southern border,” he said. “But it is patently unlawful.”

The new rule also will apply to the initial asylum screening, known as a “credible fear” interview, at which migrants must prove they have credible fears of returning to their home country. It applies to migrants who are arriving to the U.S., not those who are already in the country.

Trump administration officials say the changes are meant to close the gap between the initial asylum screening that most people pass and the final decision on asylum that most people do not win. But immigrant rights groups, religious leaders and humanitarian groups have said the Republican administration’s policies amount to a cruel and callous effort to keep immigrants out of the country. 

Along with the administration’s recent effort to send asylum seekers back over the border, Trump has tried to deny asylum to anyone crossing the border illegally and restrict who can claim asylum, and the attorney general recently tried to keep thousands of asylum seekers detained while their cases play out. 

Nearly all of those efforts have been blocked by courts. 

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‘This is unprecedented’: Alert, Nunavut, is warmer than Victoria – CBC News

July 15th, 2019

Weather watchers are focused on the world’s most northerly community, which is in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave.

“It’s really quite spectacular,” said David Phillips, Environment Canada’s chief climatologist. “This is unprecedented.”

The weather agency confirmed that Canadian Forces Station Alert hit a record of 21 C on Sunday. On Monday, the military listening post on the top of Ellesmere Island had reached 20 C by noon and inched slightly higher later in the day.

Alert was warmer both days than Victoria, B.C., a Canadian go-to for balmy climes.

The average July high for Alert is 7 C. Phillips said that means the heat wave at the top of the world is the equivalent of Toronto registering a daytime high of 42 C.

“It’s nothing that you would have ever seen.” 

Our models for the rest of the summer are saying, ‘Get used to it.’​​​​​– David Phillips, Environment Canada

A military spokesman said nobody at the high-security station, which monitors electronic signals and communications, was available to say if soldiers had swapped parkas for flip-flops.

Phillips said it’s the latest anomaly in what’s been a long, hot summer across the Arctic.

Iqaluit saw the mercury rise to 23.5 C on July 9, Nunavut Day — the highest ever for that day. Alaska had its second-warmest June on record.

A look at the station in 2006. A military spokesperson said nobody at the high-security station, which monitors electronic signals and communications, was available to say if soldiers had swapped parkas for flip-flops. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Records have been falling — not by fractions, but by large margins.

“That’s what we’re seeing more often,” Phillips said. “It’s not just half a degree or a 10th of a millimetre. It’s like hitting a ball out of the ballpark. It is so different than what the previous record was.”

More is to come, he predicted.

“Our models for the rest of the summer are saying, ‘Get used to it.”‘

In Alert’s case, the source of the Arctic beach weather is a large current of air that somehow found its way north from the U.S. southeast, Phillips said.

It could be related to changes in the jet stream, a fast-moving, high-altitude river of air that moves west to east. That current has slowed in recent years and has become more unstable, sometimes looping much farther north or south than normal.

Many scientists believe the changes are at least partly the result of melting sea ice.

“It’s almost as if you’re seeing these extremes more often because of the jet stream that has a different look and a different pattern,” Phillips said. “That’s what we saw when we had those 20-degree temperatures in Iqaluit.”

It’s part of a pattern, he said. He’s cautious about attributing specific events to any one cause, but not about naming one of the main drivers.

“With temperatures you’ve never seen before, you can’t dismiss it as not having a climate change component.”

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Democratic congresswomen denounce Trump’s Twitter attack, say it is a ‘distraction’ – Global News

July 15th, 2019

At a press conference Monday afternoon, Democratic members of Congress, Minn. Rep. Ilhan Omar, N.Y. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mass. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Mich. Rep Rashida Tlaib, known as ‘The Squad,’ hit back at U.S. President Donald Trump for a tirade of racist tweets he posted over the weekend, saying the attack was an attempt to distract from what they say are “hateful” and “dangerous” policies from his administration.

READ MORE: Trump says congresswoman is ‘never happy’ with America and ‘hates Jews’

“This is a president who has openly violated the very value our country aspires to uphold,” Omar said. “Equality under the law, religious liberty, equal protection and protection from persecution. And to distract from that, he’s launching a blatantly racist attack on four duly elected members of the United States house of representatives, all of who are women of colour.

“This is the agenda of white nationalists,” she continued, “whether it’s happening in chatrooms or it’s happening on national TV, and now its reached the White House garden.

WATCH: Trump can’t defend policies so he ‘attacks us personally’, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says

“He would love nothing more than to divide our country based on race, religion, gender, orientation or immigration status because this is the only way he knows he can prevent the solidarity of us working together across all of our differences, the only way to prevent us from confronting the problems our country is facing.”

Ocasio-Cortez said the attacks are a ploy Trump uses instead of defending his administration’s policy.

“Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country to avoid challenging and debating the policy,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This president does not know how to make the argument that Americans do not deserve healthcare, he does not know how to defend his policies, so what he does is attack us personally. And that is what this is all about.”

READ MORE: ‘We’re not going anywhere’: Congresswomen react after Trump tells them to leave the U.S.

Pressley urged the American people and other lawmakers not to “take the bait,” and to regain focus.

“I encourage the American people, and all of us in this room and beyond, to not take the bait,” Pressley said. “This is a disruptive distraction from the issues of care, concern and consequence to the American people.”

WATCH: ‘Our squad is big’: Ayanna Pressley says she won’t be silenced by Trump attacks

She added that ‘The Sqaud’ will not be silenced.

“We are more than four people; we ran on a mandate to advocate for and to represent those ignored left out and left behind. Our squad is big,” she said. “Our squad includes any person committed to building a more equitable and just world, and that is the work we want to get back to.”

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: The cynical strategy behind Trump’s attacks on minority women in Congress

Tlaib echoed her colleagues’ remarks and called upon House leadership to begin the impeachment process against Trump.

“Sadly this is not the first nor will it be the last time we hear disgusting, bigoted language from the president,” she said. “Despite this and other many attempts to distract us I remain focused, we remain focused on holding him accountable to the laws of this land and accountable to the American people.”

“I urge House leadership, many of my colleagues to take action to impeach this lawless president today,” Tlaib continued.

WATCH: Trump accuses Omar of hating Jews while defending tweets against congresswomen

On Sunday the president attacked the congresswomen in a tweet, saying they should “go back and help fix the totally broke and crime infested places from which they came,” and then “come back and show us how it is done.”

READ MORE: Trump accuses congresswomen of hating America in defence of Twitter tirade

“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democratic Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,” Trump wrote.

Faced with harsh backlash for the tweets, Trump doubled down on the attacks in a speech on Monday, saying “if you’re not happy here, you can leave.”

Ilhan Omar reacts to Trump’s attacks: ‘Every single Muslim has heard that’

He also singled out Omar, claiming she “hates Jews.”

“In one case, you have somebody that comes from Somalia, which is a failed government, a failed state, who left Somalia, who ultimately came here,” he said. “And now is a congresswoman who’s never happy, says horrible things about Israel, hates Israel, hates Jews, hates Jews. It’s very simple.”

WATCH: Trump denies tweets against 4 Democrats were racist

When asked during the press conference Monday to respond to those comments, Omar said she would not dignify his attack with a response.

“I know that every single Muslim that has lived in this country and across the world has heard that comment and so I will not dignify it with an answer,” she said. “Because I know that every single Islamophobe, every single person who is hateful, who is driven by an ideology of othering as this president is, rejoices in us responding to that and us defending ourselves.”

READ MORE: Trudeau on Trump’s ‘go back’ tweet: ‘That’s not how we do things in Canada’

When asked by reporters on Monday whether he was concerned that many considered his tweets to be racist, Trump said he wasn’t.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me, and all I’m saying — if they want us to leave, they can leave,” he said.

WATCH: Schumer says people who side with Trump after ‘bigoted’ comments have made ‘a deal with the devil’

On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted, denouncing Trump’s tweets.

“When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again,” she wrote.

“Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power.”

WATCH: Pedestrians in Queens, N.Y. react to Trump’s ‘go back’ rhetoric

Pelosi announced on Monday that House Democrats will introduce a resolution condemning Trump’s “xenophobic tweets.”

“Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the president’s xenophobic tweets,” she wrote in a letter to her Democratic colleagues in the House.

— With files from Maryam Shah and Reuters. 

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Most northern tip of Canadian Arctic shatters heat record – The Weather Network

July 15th, 2019

Monday, July 15th 2019, 6:38 pm – Their previous heat record was set over 60 years ago

The small community of Alert, Nunavut is the most northern permanently inhabited region on the planet and they have officially entered uncharted waters. On July 14 Alert shattered their previous record high temperature when they reached 21°C, which is one degree higher than their previous record of 20°C in 1956.

For reference, high temperatures in July are typically only a few degrees above freezing for this region (5-6°C), with nighttime lows hovering near the freezing mark.

Through pre-dawn Monday, the Alert weather station didn’t drop below 15°C, which was highly unusual for the region and likely an all-time warm minimum temperature record for the area.

What’s more impressive is the station not only recorded one day above 20°C, but also a second one on Monday; consequently, this is the first time this climate station has recorded back-to-back days warmer than 20°C.

THE CAUSE

A strong upper-level region of high pressure situated over Greenland spilled into the Arctic Ocean, but that isn’t the only necessary ingredient.

The Setup

This type of atmospheric blocking pattern is responsible, but a strong southerly flow allowed the surface temperature to have minimal influence from the relatively chilly waters of the Arctic Ocean.

VICTORIA VS. ALERT

Over 4,000 kilometres away, Victoria recorded a lower temperature than the most northern tip of Canada on Sunday (20.6°C) and Monday as well (19.5°C).

Victoria AlertCompare

These two communities have a staggering amount of lines of latitude in between them, with the City of Victoria situated at 48°N, while Alert is plopped north of 82°N.

This is in fact, the first time a temperature warmer than 20° has been measured north of 80° on the planet. The previous record was held by Alert – the old benchmark being 20°C back in July 1956.

WATCH BELOW: POLAR BEARS IN EVEN MORE DANGER AS ARCTIC SEA ICE HITS RECORD LOW

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Man, 64, dead after Cochrane motorcycle crash – Global News

July 15th, 2019

A 64-year-old man has died following a motorcycle crash in Cochrane on Monday.

RCMP said a motorcycle was travelling south on Highway 22 as a car was heading north. They collided at James Walker Trail and Highway 22 after the car turned west in front of the motorcycle.

The motorcyclist was taken to Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary where he later died of his injuries.

The 78-year-old woman driving the car has unknown injuries, police said.

RCMP said police and Cochrane Fire Services investigated and cleared the scene by 7 p.m.

The cause of the crash in still under investigation.

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