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Annie Gugliotta

Did Hamas score a big win at the United Nations, or was it actually a win for the much-maligned idea of the two-state solution?

Forgive yourself if you ignored the critical UN vote last week. Like the blaring horns on the streets of New York, many folks tune out the UN as meaningless background noise to the real action in global politics: sound and fury signifying bias. That is a mistake. The controversial May 9 vote on granting Palestine full membership to the UN bears real scrutiny. After all, in plain terms, the vote effectively means recognizing a Palestinian state.

The vote was supported by 143 of the 193 countries that make up the General Assembly – that’s more countries supporting this idea in 2024 than the last time something like this was voted on, back in 2012. Just seven months after the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel, Palestine has won more support, not less. And Israel is more isolated, not less. Nine countries, including the US and Israel, voted no, but this next bit is telling: 25 countries, including Canada, abstained. This signals a major shift in Canadian policy, as it has historically voted “no” alongside the US.

What changed, and what exactly was the vote saying about who would represent the Palestine state if it was granted full status– the Palestinian Authority or Hamas? Can there be a Palestinian state with Hamas playing a role? Is the current Israeli government trying to kill the idea of a viable two-state solution?

To find out, I spoke with Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations Bob Rae.

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Enrique A. Manalo

The Philippines wants closer military and commercial ties with Canada as a means of balancing its position in the world – particularly between the United States and China. The country’s foreign minister, Enrique Manalo, hit up Washington, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver in April and May as the Philippines seeks to move beyond the “great power” rivalry that marked the Cold War era.
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U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a virtual roundtable on securing critical minerals at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 22, 2022.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Speaking of China,the US and Canada are taking their efforts to compete with Beijing underground – literally. The Pentagon on Thursday announced it would invest $15 million in two early-stage mines in Canada looking to dig for “critical minerals” that are considered essential for national security.

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Aerial view of solar panels .

Globally, solar power is surging. The International Energy Agency says that in 2023, solar made up 75% of new renewable energy capacity and is set to continue growing—more than doubling in the next four years over 2022 levels. But in the US and parts of Canada, the solar industry is facing headwinds.
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A navy tug pulls the destroyer HMCS Athabascan (top) into its dock at CFB Halifax in Nova Scotia.

REUTERS/Paul Darrow
The future of warfare is unmanned – and the future is now. Or now-ish, as far as Canada is concerned. While the US Air Force is working on autonomous, AI-piloted fighter jets, the US Navy just christened a new Unmanned Surface Vessel or USV called Vanguard. The shift towards unmanned weapons and AI will transform warfare as more effective, deadlier weapons hit the battlefield and lower the risk of human operator casualties – while raising the potential for a new arms race.
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US President Joe Biden

Yuri Gripas/ABACAPRESS

President Joe Biden is facing pressure as House Republicans press for a bill to chastise the administration for its Isreal policy, despite White House plans to go ahead with a $1 billion arms deal for the Jewish state.

What likely concerns Biden more than Republican censure, however, are the Gen Z voters — upset with his support for Israel — who may decide to park their votes elsewhere, or simply stay home on Election Day. Foreign policy crises like this are the last thing Biden’s approval rating needs.

North of the border, increasingly unpopular Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing a similar challenge as younger voters, activists, and Muslim voters consider abandoning the governing Liberals even after the government adopted a partial arms embargo on Israel.

Biden and Trudeau’s best hope is that while voters, especially younger ones, care about Gaza, it may not be their central issue of concern. Most young voters, and voters of all ages, care more about the economy and cost of living. Still, it may not matter for Trudeau, who is as many as 20 points behind Conservative opponent Pierre Poilievre, or Biden, who polls eight points behind Trump on the economy.

A container ship makes its way into the Port of Vancouver past vessels at anchor in English Bay, as seen from Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver, British Columbia, on May 10, 2024.

REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

72: The union representing longshoremen at the port of Vancouver has postponed issuing a 72-hour strike notice, creating extra time to avoid a work stoppage at one of North America’s busiest marine hubs. Still, talks between the longshoremen’s union and port bosses remain at an impasse over wage increases. The stakes are high: A two-week Canadian port workers strike last summer interrupted the flow of more than $7 billion worth of trade. Authorities in Alberta, worried about the impact on agricultural and mining exports, have urged Ottawa to intervene.

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