Blockade deadline and Ukraine crisis: In The News for Feb. 14


Published February 14, 2022 at 4:54 am

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of Feb. 14 …

What we are watching in Canada …

OTTAWA — Ottawa’s mayor has set a deadline of noon today for truckers encamped in the capital’s core to move out of residential streets in a bid to pare down the size of the protest’s footprint.

Mayor Jim Watson outlined the proposal in a letter released on Sunday as part of a backchannel deal aimed at ending the ongoing protest against pandemic health measurers.

One of the protest organizers, Tamara Lich, tweeted late Sunday night that the trucks would be leaving residential areas on Monday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to speak with premiers today about the protest that started three weekends ago outside his office in Ottawa that has since spawned copycat demonstrations that have shut down several border crossings.


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One of those crossings, the busy Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ont. and Detroit, Mich. reopened Sunday night after Windsor police cleared and arrested protesters blocking traffic. The bridge carries hundreds of millions of dollars in cross-border trade daily between the U.S. and Canada, and its weeklong blockade had become a key concern for the White House.

Trudeau spoke on Sunday night with senior federal officials and cabinet ministers about further actions the government can take to end the nationwide blockades and protests.

Frustration over the protest has become palpable in the national capital where residents launched counter-protests over the weekend against the so-called Freedom Convoy.

The protesters are decrying federal vaccine mandates and provincial COVID-19 restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, some of which are being rolled back by provinces.

But protesters have also used the demonstrations to denounce Trudeau and called for the removal of his government.

Also this …

OTTAWA — The military is moving troops out of Ukraine in one of the strongest signals yet that a Russian invasion is imminent.

The Defence Department says soldiers who have been in Ukraine as part of a training mission are being temporarily relocated to elsewhere in Europe.

The department won’t say where the soldiers have gone, nor how many of them have been moved for security reasons.

A statement from the department says the movement of troops out of Ukraine doesn’t signal the end of the training mission meant to bolster that country’s security forces.

Instead, the department says the move allows the military time to refocus efforts in the face of Russia’s “unwarranted aggression” against Ukraine.

Defence Minister Anita Anand says Canada remains committed to supporting the people of Ukraine and helping its security forces improve their capabilities.

She adds that the security of Canadian Armed Forces troops is a top priority, and “this temporary repositioning will ensure the safety of Canadian personnel.”

Russia has mobilized 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine and is demanding a series of concessions from the NATO military alliance, which includes Canada.

While Russia has denied wanting a war, diplomatic talks between Moscow and the West have failed to resolve the standoff and NATO leaders have started warning of a conflict in Ukraine.

The announcement that troops were moved out of Ukraine comes one day after Canada shuttered its embassy in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and relocated its diplomatic staff to a temporary office in Lviv in the western part of the country.

Lviv is home to a Ukrainian military base that served as the main hub for Canada’s 200-soldier training mission in the former Soviet country.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to reassure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Canada stands with his country.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

ST. PAUL, Minn. — After nearly three weeks of testimony, federal prosecutors planned to rest their case Monday against three former Minneapolis police officers who are charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights.

Once the prosecution rests in the trial of J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao,defence attorneys will start presenting their witnesses. The attorney for Lane has said his client will testify. Attorneys for Thao and Kueng haven’t said if they will.

The officers are charged with violating Floyd’s constitutional rights while acting under government authority.

All three are accused of depriving Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, of medical care while he was handcuffed, facedown as Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes.

Kueng, who is Black, knelt on Floyd’s back; Lane, who is white, held down his legs; and Thao, who is Hmong American, kept bystanders back.

Kueng and Thao are also accused of failing to intervene to stop the May 25, 2020, killing, which triggered protests worldwide and a reexamination of racism and policing.

The charges allege that the officers’ actions resulted in Floyd’s death.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is visiting Ukraine.

That is part of a flurry of Western diplomacy aimed at heading off a feared Russian invasion that some warn could be just days away.

Scholz plans to continue on to Moscow.

There he will try to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to back down. U.S. officials have warned that Russia could attack this week.

Moscow denies it has any such plans but has massed well over 130,000 troops near Ukraine.

In the U.S. view, it has also built up enough firepower to launch an attack on short notice.

On this day in AD 270 (traditional) …

Valentine, a priest in Rome during the reign of Claudius II, was beheaded.

A reason for his later relationship to the romantic holiday: Claudius, seeking to more easily recruit troops, nixed family ties by forbidding marriage.

Valentine ignored the order and performed secret marriages — an act that led to his arrest and execution.

In sports …

INGLEWOOD — In a venue built for champions, the Los Angeles Rams carried off the crown jewel: a Super Bowl trophy.

It took a precise 79-yard drive capped by Cooper Kupp’s 1-yard touchdown reception with 1:25 remaining for a 23-20 victory Sunday over the Cincinnati Bengals to give the Rams their first NFL title since the 1999 season — and their first representing Los Angeles since 1951.

They did it in their home, the $5 billion SoFi Stadium, making the Rams the second consecutive host to win the championship after Tampa Bay became the first ever a year ago.

Kupp was named the game’s MVP.

In entertainment …

Ivan Reitman, the influential filmmaker and producer behind beloved comedies from “Animal House” to “Ghostbusters,” has died. He was 75.

Reitman died peacefully in his sleep Saturday night at his home in Montecito, Calif., his family told The Associated Press.

His children say in a statement that they are “grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father, and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life.”

Reitman was born in Czechoslovakia and later moved with his family to Toronto. He went on to study music and drama at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., and began making movie shorts.

“A legend,” comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani said on Twitter about Reitman. “The number of great movies he made is absurd.”

Along with “Animal House” and “Ghostbusters,” he also directed “Twins,” “Kindergarten Cop,” “Dave,” “Junior” and 1998’s “Six Days, Seven Nights.” He also produced “Beethoven,” “Old School” and “EuroTrip,” and many others, including his son’s Oscar-nominated film “Up in the Air.”


The negative effects of climate change on the environment are well documented, now several studies are showing what is happening to the animals of the world as global temperatures rise.

Research published in the Royal Society Journal shows melting ice is leading to inbreeding among polar bears, which scientists say is decreasing genetic diversity and could result in infertile offspring, and being unable to fight disease.

Another study also published in the Royal Society Journal finds the warmer temperatures linked to high “divorce rates” in Albatrosses — a bird species known for mating for life.

A study published in Science Advances shows birds in the Amazon are getting smaller, which scientists say could be for them to better regulate body heat.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 14, 2022

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