The Islamic State-inspired extremist who attacked shoppers in a New Zealand supermarket had been fighting deportation for immigration fraud, leaving the nation’s leader expressing frustration at the process. The new details about the attack Friday in Auckland emerged as the condition of some of those injured in his attack improved. Three critically injured patients remain in intensive care but are in stable condition, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said Sunday. Police added that the condition of one of the critically injured patients had improved. Bloomfield said a fourth person still hospitalized is in stable condition, while the three others have been released and are recovering at home. The attacker, Ahamed Samsudeen, 32, arrived in New Zealand 10 years ago on a student visa. A Tamil Muslim, he applied for refugee status on the basis of being persecuted in Sri Lanka, where a civil war ended in 2009 with the defeat of a Tamil rebel group. Immigration New Zealand declined his application, but he won his appeal, gaining permanent residency in 2014.
Protesters against Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau gesture during his federal election campaign stop in Newmarket, Ont., on Sunday. Trudeau gestures as he exits his campaign bus in Newmarket. He was joined by Tony Van Bynen, the Liberal candidate for Newmarket-Aurora. The Liberal leader greeted people at a restaurant patio for about eight minutes. He was surrounded by police officers and security personnel. Trudeau was met by about 100 protesters, some of them supporters of the People’s Party of Canada. Many Liberal supporters were also on hand. Trudeau has been dogged by often angry protests since the start of the campaign. Anger is palpable and some of the protesters use language that is more obscene than is typical at political protests. The angry demonstrations are often fueled by what participants have been reading online about COVID-19, vaccines and pandemic-driven restrictions on economic activity and personal liberties. Some hollered profanities, racist slurs and many shouted anti-vaccination sentiments.
California could soon force large department stores to display some child products in gender neutral ways after the state Legislature passed a bill on Wednesday aimed at getting rid of traditional pink and blue marketing schemes for items like toys and toothbrushes. The bill would not outlaw traditional boys and girls sections in department stores, but it would require retailers to have a gender neutral section to display “a reasonable selection” of items “regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys.” The bill would only apply to department stores with 500 or more employees, so most small businesses would be exempt. It also wouldn’t apply to clothes, just toys and “childcare items,” which include hygiene and teething products. The state Senate passed the bill Wednesday, sending it back to the Assembly for a procedural vote before it heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. If it becomes law, California would become the first state to require these sections in stores, according to the office of Assemblyman Evan Low, the bill’s author.
Foreign minister calls U.S. relationship ‘indispensable’ — but many in the U.K. have growing doubts. To hear the British foreign minister tell it, the biggest mistake made by some in his government — and many others across Europe — in the lead-up to the fall of Afghanistan was “optimism bias.” Essentially, having too much hope that U.S. President Joe Biden would change his mind and keep American troops in Afghanistan longer than the Aug. 31 deadline, so as to avoid the catastrophic humanitarian crisis many fear has started. “There was some wishful thinking in some quarters internationally that the Biden administration would change.… But the election campaign had baked in some finality to this,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told British MPs Wednesday during a grilling before the House of Commons foreign affairs committee.
If province can’t reduce spread, boost vaccination, ICU occupancy will exceed 3rd wave by October. New modelling released Wednesday by Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table says more than 85 per cent of the eligible population needs to be vaccinated to avoid a lockdown this fall due to the highly contagious delta variant. The table said Ontarians also need to reduce contacts to about 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels until vaccination levels are high enough to protect the population. To reduce contacts, the table recommends: Reducing indoor density, maintaining physical distancing, limiting large gatherings. Continuing indoor mask policies and working from home. Implementing policies that accelerate vaccination (e.g. certificates, mandates, outreach). The table confirmed that Ontario is in the fourth wave of the pandemic and it said its modelling predicts the resulting spike in cases will be “substantial.”
Observers say they don’t see any centralized group driving the protests. It’s something almost as old as elections themselves. Demonstrators show up at political leaders election campaign events, chanting and holding signs. Often, the protests are organized by existing interest groups or political opponents. While they make a lot of noise, they are predictable. But many of the protests following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau around during in this election don’t fit that pattern. Their organization is more ad hoc, with protesters sharing information on a wide variety of social media platforms about Trudeau’s whereabouts. The protests themselves feature a more palpable level of anger and the use of language more obscene than is typical of political protests — and are often fuelled by what participants have been reading online about COVID-19, vaccines and pandemic-driven restrictions on economic activity and personal liberties.