A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘crime

[URBAN NOTE] Six Toronto links: street art, journalism, police, Cheri DiNovo, transit at Dundas West

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  • CBC notes that the Yonge and Dundas street artist scene is closing down under city regulations, including permits.
  • Emily Mathieu talks about how she conducts her journalism with some of Toronto’s most marginalized as subjects.
  • The Globe and Mail notes the local controversy over having police officers permanently stationed in schools.
  • The idea that police who actively undermine the Special Investigations Unit should be seriously punished seems obvious.
  • Veteran NDP politican and LGBTQ rights advocate Cheri DiNovo is leaving politics to become a minister in church.
  • Finally, the Dundas West TTC station will be connected to the GO Transit hub less than 300 metres away!
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[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Anthrodendum considers the difficulties of the anthropologist in the context of a world where their knowledges are monetized.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about two days she spent in Montréal, with photos.
  • Crooked Timber starts a discussion about the justice, or lack thereof, in Harvard denying convicted murderer Michelle Jones entry into their doctoral program now that her sentence is over.
  • D-Brief looks at the changing nature of the global disease burden, and its economic consequences.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that Equifax’s terribly lax data protection should mark the endgame for them.
  • The Map Room Blog considers the use of earth-observer satellites to predict future disease outbreaks (malaria, here, in Peru).
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes how quantum mechanics helps explain nuclear fusion in our sun.
  • Window on Eurasia notes a report that Muscovites live on average 12 years longer than non-Muscovite Russians.

[URBAN NOTE] Four notes about politics and mass transit in Toronto

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  • I am decidedly unimpressed by the marijuana dispensary owners who set their employees up for criminal charges.
  • Is the Ontario proposal for a licensed provincial marijuana retailer going to be economically viable? Maybe not. CBC reports.
  • Steve Munro looks at the new 509 Harboufront streetcars with their pantograph power collection units.
  • Edward Keenan makes a well-meaning call to Torontonians to stop speculating about the winner of the 2018 election. (Won’t happen, alas.)

Written by Randy McDonald

September 13, 2017 at 5:45 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • At Antipope, Charlie Stross considers the ways in which Big Data could enable an updated version of 1984.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at all the ways in which this photo of galaxy NGC 5559 is cool, with a supernova and more.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly shares a week of her life as a professional writer.
  • Crooked Timber looks at the potentially dominant role of racism as a political marker in the US.
  • Far Outliers notes that the Confederacy’s military options circa 1864 were grim and limited.
  • Language Log shares an example of a Starbucks coffee cup with biscriptal writing from Shenyang.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the Rohingya are being subjected to genocide. What next?
  • Marginal Revolution notes the introduction of a new chocolate, ruby chocolate“.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw has it with ideological divisions of left and right.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at the remarkably intemperate Spanish court decision that kicked off modern separatism in Catalonia.
  • Charley Ross looks at the sad story of missing teenager Brittanee Drexel.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that now is an excellent time to start highlighting the politics of climate change.
  • Towleroad mourns New York City theatre star Michael Friedman.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the ways in which Russia is, and is not, likely to use the military.
  • Arnold Zwicky shares a map of the regional languages of France.

[NEWS] Five links: Greyhound in Canada, militarized Hamptons, Tohono O’odham, Rohingya, memes

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  • If Greyhound pulls out of northern BC, and the rest of rural Canada, what will happen to these regions? CBC reports.
  • The militarized community policing describes in Bloomberg View in New York’s famed Hamptons does say something worrisome of psyches.
  • A Bangladeshi observer makes the obvious point over at the Inter Press Service that Myanmar needs to radically change its treatment of the Rohingya.
  • Open Democracy looks at how the miliitarized US-Mexican border harms the Tohono O’odham, divided by said.
  • This Wired interview with Antonio Guillem, the photographer whose images made distracted boyfriend meme, is amazing.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes how data mining of stellar surveys led to the discovery of a new star type, the BLAP.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly tells about her enjoyable recent stay at Fire Island.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the latest maneuvers of asteroid probe OSIRIS-REx.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper considering oxygen in exoplanet atmospheres as a biomarker.
  • Joe. My. God. notes how racist Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio is upset at being called a racist.
  • Language Log notes how China censored images of the Tibetan-language tattoo of MMA fighter Dan Hardy.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how deportees to Mexico are beset by that country’s crime syndicates.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper considering how many sellers a market needs to be competitive.
  • The New APPS Blog considers the racism of Donald Trump in the light of Agamben’s concept of the homo sacer.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw considers the issue of monuments in Australia in the context of Aborigines’ sufferings by the subjects memorialized.
  • The Planetary Society Blog shows the Jupiter approach videos taken by the Voyager probes.
  • Towleroad explains why Diana, with her embrace of (among other things) fashion and AIDS victims, is a gay icon.
  • Arnold Zwicky notes the official registration in Scotland of a tartan for LGBT people.

[NEWS] Five links about refugees and migrations: border debris, Cornwall’s camps, and online fraud

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Earlier today at my blog, I linked to an article published earlier this month in the Toronto Star. In “Fleeing to Canada, asylum seekers’ old lives revealed in the scraps found along New York’s Roxham Rd.”, journalist Allan Woods looked at the debris discarded by refugee claimants fleeing potential threats in Trump’s America.

There were airplane boarding passes and luggage tags from Haiti, Florida, Ethiopia, Salt Lake City and New York; Greyhound bus tickets from Albany and Indianapolis; a Delaware driver’s licence and a U.S. Social Security number; Florida detention records; immigration documents from Orlando; and medical laboratory test records for a Delaware man.

Dampened by rain and dried by sun, the scraps of papers discarded while fleeing for a new life in Canada offer insight into the journeys made by asylum seekers. They may have been thrown away as simple garbage from a life abandoned or been purposefully left behind for fear of complicating an expected refugee claim in Canada.

Canadian officials said this week that there have been about 250 people crossing each day at Roxham Rd. in the past few weeks, with a one-day peak of 500 about a week ago.

About 85 per cent have been Haitian nationals worried that the U.S. government intends to get rid of a special immigration designation, known as a Temporary Protected Status, that prevents deportation back to Haiti and nine other countries.

Among them is the Baptiste family — mother Sophonie, father Michel and son Colby — who stepped off a Greyhound bus at 6 p.m. Wednesday along with an elderly grandfather, an aunt and a cousin after deciding to leave behind the life they had built over the past decade in Queens, N.Y.

In Haiti, they ran a successful home renovation business that was abandoned over fears of kidnapping. Colby Baptiste said he was employed by Honda and was a registered real estate agent in New York before the family decided to seek refuge in Canada.

Pushing them to take that decision was a letter they received from immigration authorities advising them to prepare for the expiration of their Temporary Protected Status and an eventual return to Haiti.

With tears welling in her eyes, Sophonie Baptiste said she saw Canada as a more generous and open country and was confident her family would be able to rebuild once again.

More recently, the Star carried Mike Blanchfield’s Canadian Press article interviewing some of the people fleeing.

The Francois family are among nearly 7,000 asylum seekers — most of them Haitian — who have flooded across the Quebec-New York state border since mid-July when the Trump administration announced it might end their “temporary protected status,” which was granted following Haiti’s massive 2010 earthquake. They are among the first few hundred the government has relocated to this eastern Ontario processing centre.

Few here have heard of Justin Trudeau and no one says they saw his now-controversial January Twitter message welcoming immigrants facing persecution. The tweet was heavily criticized by the Conservative opposition for sparking the American exodus.

But many here say they uprooted their new American lives because of something more primal: they were driven by fear of the anti-immigration politics of President Donald Trump.

“I decided to come to Canada because the politics of migration in the United States changed,” says Haitian-born Justin Remy Napoleon, 39. “I was scared. I came here to continue my life.”

Like Frank Francois, Napoleon says he feared deportation over Trump’s policy shift, so he left his adopted home in San Diego, flew to the eastern seaboard and boarded a bus for the northern border. It wasn’t the first time he decided to start over in another country. He left Haiti in 2006 for the Dominican Republic and then went to Brazil.

Napoleon says he dreamed of coming to Canada from as far back as his time in Haiti. When he crossed the border earlier this month, “I thought I was entering a paradise.”

The eastern Ontario city of Cornwall, close to the Québec and New York borders, has–as reported by, among others, Global News–been scrambling to find housing for hundreds, even thousands, of people.

Const. Daniel Cloutier, a Cornwall police spokesman, says almost 300 Haitians have arrived recently and, so far, there have been no problems and none are anticipated.

About 3,800 people crossed into Quebec in the first two weeks of August following the 2,996 who crossed in July after the Trump administration said it was considering ending “temporary protected status” for Haitians in the U.S. following their country’s massive 2010 earthquake.

Last week, federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced a temporary shelter would be set up in Cornwall.

The newcomers are being housed at the Nav Centre, which is run by Nav Canada, the private non-profit corporation that owns and operates the country’s civil air navigation service. The military is erecting tents on its grounds.

The centre sits on more than 28 hectares of parkland abutting the St. Lawrence Seaway and is billed as a government conference centre with all the amenities of a luxury resort. Its website boasts 560 “comfortable” rooms, as well as a swimming pool, sauna, fitness centre and outdoors sports fields.

Amy Minsky, also at Global News, reported that many of the refugee and asylum candidates who came to Canada have been misled by false rumours, carried on social media.

Amid the federal government’s assurances it has everything under control at the Canada-U.S. border, where thousands of would-be refugees are crossing over in droves, is an aggressive campaign to combat one element seen to be behind the most recent wave: the viral spread of potentially deliberately misleading information about Canada’s refugee and asylum systems.

The Liberal government has said it is aware of misinformation spreading via instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and through other social media platforms.

Much of the misinformation has targeted the Haitian population living in the United States with “temporary protected status” granted to more than 50,000 Haitians, primarily in the wake of 2010 earthquake that killed an estimated 222,570, injured another 300,000 and displaced almost 100,000.

With that status likely to expire without renewal in mere months, however, many have packed their bags, made their way to Champlain, N.Y., and walked across to Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que. – seemingly, according to the Canadian government, encouraged by false information.

“The misinformation that Haitians in the United States, for example, could get permanent residency easily in Canada if they have temporary protected status in the United States. That’s completely untrue,” Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said in an interview with Global News.

“Those [are the] kinds of myths we’re working really hard to dispel, and we’re engaging all available means to attack that misinformation.”

Videos on YouTube are also spreading misinformation about Canada’s system.

At VICE, meanwhile, Cole Kazdin described how fraudsters in the United States are taking advantage of refugees and immigrants there desperately trying to legalize their status.

When Andrea Mora took her grown daughter Karla to get her green card two years ago, she could barely contain her excitement on the drive to the immigration office. “The happiness…” Mora tells me in Spanish. “We were looking so forward to the interview.” Finally, she would have her entire family together in the US.

But instead of walking out of the immigration office with a green card, Karla was given a deportation order on the spot. She was a victim of the sort of misinformation and sometimes deliberately misleading advice that experts say is all too common among immigrants looking for permanent resident status.

Mora, who asked that I change her name, came to the US 11 years ago from Costa Rica to be further from her alcoholic husband and closer to her eldest daughter, who is married to a US citizen. After being sponsored by her daughter, Mora now has resident status. She was hoping to sponsor her younger daughter, Karla, who came to the US on a tourist visa. So she borrowed money from friends to get the $5,000 to pay a notario—a term for a notary or immigration consultant—who advised her and helped them fill out the paperwork to apply for Karla’s residency.

But notaries don’t have law degrees. The one that Mora saw not only filled out the paperwork incorrectly, she also promised an outcome—a green card—that attorneys familiar with the case say would never have been possible.

Those errors led to her interviewer at the immigration office not just turning her application down but telling her to leave the country. Heaping injury upon injury, the notario’s high fees meant that Mora is still paying back the friends who lent her money two years ago.

I wonder if anything similar is going on in Canada.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 28, 2017 at 11:30 pm