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The Canadian Security Intelligence Service is warning Canadian universities and research institutions about Beijing’s attempts to attract scientists to China through academic recruitment programs. CSIS says that Beijing hopes to use these scientists to gain access to new technology for economic and military advantage.

The federal spy agency says that Beijing is primarily attracting scientists through the Thousand Talents Plan (TTP). The TTP was created in 2008 to identify and recruit experts around the world to persuade them to share — either willingly or by coercion – results of their research.

Some Canadian professors who are involved in the TTP say that there are no technology transfers involved and that the program is a good way for them to recruit Chinese students to Canada.

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A person walks past the University of Toronto campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. CSIS is warning Canadian universities that Beijing is attempting to recruit scientists to China in order to gain new technology.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

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How neglected cargo became a ‘ticking time bomb’ in Beirut

Since the catastrophic explosion in Beirut that killed at least 135 people, officials have pinpointed a warehouse storing 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate as the source of the disaster.

How the ammonium nitrate came to be stored in that warehouse can be traced back to late 2013, when a cargo ship was forced to make an unscheduled stop in Beirut due to technical problems. When port authorities boarded the ship, they were shocked to discover large amounts of the highly explosive material, which is commonly used as fertilizer, in the ship’s hold.

The question is now why the ammonium nitrate remained in that warehouse for more than six years after it was seized. The government has promised accountability for those responsible and has put all port authorities involved in storage and security under house arrest. However, some Lebanese experts point to a culture of corruption at Beirut’s ports as one explanation for the negligence behind the explosion.

B.C., Ontario demand Ottawa ensure complete passenger info for contact tracing

The federal government is under pressure to force airlines to provide provinces with quick and complete contact information for passengers who may come into contact with a traveller who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Ontario and British Columbia’s health authorities have criticized the data that airlines currently provide as incomplete and often unusable. Sometimes, an airlines only provides the booking agency that the traveller used, rather than the traveller’s contact information.

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‘Cavernous gap’ between Trump and COVID-19 experts: The ongoing surge in infections, hospital admissions and deaths suggests that the President is increasingly out of step with his government’s own medical and public-health experts.

Ottawa announces deals for COVID-19 vaccines: The federal government has struck a deal with two international companies, Moderna and Pfizer Inc., to purchase millions of doses of candidate COVID-19 vaccines.

Read more on COVID-19:

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FILE PHOTO: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visits the coronavirus disease treatment facilities at the NASREC Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa April 24, 2020. Jerome Delay/Pool via REUTERS/File PhotoPOOL New/Reuters

Outrage in South Africa over COVID-19 corruption allegations: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who once enjoyed praise for his COVID-19 response, is now struggling to address corruption allegations against members of his government. Some high-ranking politicians have been accused of using the pandemic for personal gain, such as awarding contracts that would benefit their families.

Mystery seeds may be related to ‘brushing’ scams: Some Canadians have been receiving mystery seeds that they didn’t order in the mail, and officials are now suggesting that these packages may be related to “brushing” scams. This refers to sellers who send unsolicited packages to consumers and write fake positive reviews online to boost sales. While it may seem harmless, this may be part of a larger identity fraud problem.

India’s Modi breaks ground for Hindu temple on mosque’s ruins: As part of his plan to cater to Hindu nationalists, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fulfilled his promise to build a Hindu temple at the site of a destroyed mosque in Ayodhya. The move may also serve as a welcome distraction for Modi’s government, which is struggling with the pandemic and an economic downturn.


World stocks slip as markets await U.S. stimulus: Global stocks slipped on Thursday as investors waited for signs of agreement on a U.S. stimulus package, while the U.S. dollar slumped to a two-year low on fears that the recovery in the world’s biggest economy was lagging others. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 1.29 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.03 per cent and 0.62 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended down 0.43 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.69 per cent. New York futures were treading water. The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.31 US cents.


Lebanon’s politicians have failed their people, once again

Bessma Momani: “Lebanon prides itself on being resilient, especially after surviving a brutal 15-year civil war that tore communities apart along sectarian and geopolitical lines. But even before Tuesday’s explosion, the Lebanese people felt helpless and their future looked bleak.”

Why Joe Biden is the right man for the times

Lawrence Martin: “Should he become president, Mr. Biden will inherit hellish circumstances, but he will not be a stranger to them. He was there with Mr. Obama when they took over during the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.”

Donald Trump can’t rig the U.S. election, but he can discredit it

The Editorial Board: “Mr. Trump is turning trust in elections into a partisan choice: Voting works if your guy wins, and it’s corrupt if he loses. Outside the unlikely exception of a landslide victory for either candidate, there is no way this ends well.”


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David ParkinsDavid Parkins/The Globe and Mail


‘Pourquoi you’re brown, maman?’ Racism from the mouths of babes

It was clear to me now: Because my son was being taunted regularly at daycare for his mother’s skin, he wanted to deflect the hurt onto others who are darker than her. Since the COVID lockdown began, I’ve found myself thinking that the isolation we’re facing has been a blessing in one way. It’s given us time together as a family and time away from outside influences. We’re keeping our three-year-old at home now, even though his daycare reopened in May, and the decision has actually improved my life. It’s given me relief. It’s giving my son relief, too: Racism at its purest is racism from the mouths of babes.

MOMENT IN TIME: August 6, 1945,

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In this Monday, Aug. 6, 1945 picture made available by the U.S. Army via the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, a mushroom cloud billows into the sky about one hour after an atomic bomb was detonated above Hiroshima, Japan. (AP Photo/U.S. Army via Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum) NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDITU.S. Army via Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum / AP

On the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, the blast from an American atomic bomb tore through the Japanese city of Hiroshima. In an instant, the heat and pressure killed up to 80,000 people. Three days later, another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. It killed around 40,000. Together, the bombings helped push the Second World War toward its eventual end. These events would also kickstart a decades-long nuclear-arms race and the dance of mutually assured destruction between the United States and the Soviet Union if either unleashed their atomic weapons. Several other countries also started to build and test their own nuclear arsenals, which the international community is still attempting to mitigate through various treaties. Similarly, the debate about whether the U.S. should have dropped the bombs continues, especially given the high number of civilian deaths that resulted. Many struggled with social discrimination and illnesses stemming from radiation sickness, leading the death toll in Hiroshima to rise to 140,000 by the end of 1945 and even higher in later years. Since then, many of those who were affected by the bombs, also known as hibakusha, have pushed for the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide. Alex Nguyen

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