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Marc Miller, minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, hands small Canadian flags to 53 new Canadian citizens representing 22 diverse nations, at a special ceremony at Canada Place, on Oct. 12, 2023, in Edmonton, Alberta.

Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Reuters

HARD NUMBERS: Small towns get big say in immigration, Canada faces arms export lawsuit, Red Sea attacks push up shipping costs, Hotel California suit gets checked out

18: Over the next 18 months, Canada will expand and make permanent a pilot program that gives small towns a say in where immigrants can settle. The program has already resettled close to 5,000 foreigners in rural villages and small towns struggling with labor shortages.

21 million: The Canadian government is facing a lawsuit alleging that $21 million worth of Ottawa’s arms exports to Israel are illegal. The plaintiffs – the Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights and a Ramallah-based non-profit called Al-Haq Law – allege that arms exports to Israel since Oct. 7 violate Canadian laws that prohibit the sale of weapons that could be used in human rights violations. Ottawa says all exports since Israel launched its assault on Gaza have been “non-lethal” equipment.

1,000: The cost of shipping goods from India or the Middle East to North America is about to go up. Global shipping giant Maersk has raised prices along those routes by $1,000 per container, a hike of around 20%. Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea have forced companies like Maersk to take much longer routes around the Cape of Good Hope, which adds at least 15 days to the journey.

3: Well, three lucky guys in New York won’t be “prisoners here of their own device,” or any other device, as it happens. Authorities have dropped charges against a trio of men accused of trying to sell a stolen notepad with handwritten lyrics to the famous Eagles tune “Hotel California.” The pad was swiped from the Eagles’ archives by a biographer in the 1970s and sold to one of three accused men for $50,000 in 2005. Prosecutors said a newly released cache of emails cast doubt on the fairness of the case and asked a judge to drop it.

After Super Tuesday, US elections inch closer to Biden vs. Trump redux
US elections: Biden vs. Trump redux? | Ian Bremmer | World In :60

After Super Tuesday, US elections inch closer to Biden vs. Trump redux

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Any surprises from Super Tuesday

Yeah, I was surprised that Nikki Haley got Vermont. Honestly, I thought that she'd get swept by Trump. Though Vermont is a tiny, tiny little state. It still counts, but she's still out. She's, of course, suspended her campaign and that is not a surprise. And Biden beat undecided and Dean Phillips, who is basically the equivalent of undecided, pretty decisively in all of his states. So, yes, unless something happens health-wise to either of the candidates over the next months, it is Biden, and it is Trump, and that is it. And we've known that for a good long while now. It doesn't feel so super. It's not what everybody wants, but we still have months and months and months in the world's longest and most expensive election in the world. Yet one more reason why the United States is the most powerful and super dysfunctional democracy.

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The beach, Red Sea State, Port Sudan, Sudan.

Eric Lafforgue / Hans Lucas via Reuters Connect

Sudan’s lost sea access worsens humanitarian disaster

Since fighting between rival military factions in Sudan erupted last April, nearly 8 million people have been displaced, and 24 million require urgent food aid. But the crisis now may begin to beggar description as the country loses access to its Red Sea coast and migrants stream across its borders.

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Oil tanker Marlin Luanda has caught fire 60 nautical miles southeast of Aden in Yemen after a missile attack by Houthi fighters based in Yemen.

Friendly fire signals Houthis are shooting blind in the Red Sea

On Monday, Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired ballistic missiles at a ship bound for Iran, the militia’s main supporter. Would the Houthis really target their patrons in Tehran?

Almost certainly not. There’s no evidence to suggest a rupture between Iran and the Houthis, who have been attacking ships in the Red Sea in hopes of increasing global pressure on Israel to stop its assault on Gaza.

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Paige Fusco

Graphic Truth: How does Red Sea chaos affect your wallet?

Attacks on commercial shipping by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the Red Sea have thrown yet another wrench into global trade, which has already struggled in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

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Jess Frampton

Mark Carney sees more problems than solutions emerge from Davos

Davos is a good place to recognize problems but not such a good place to solve them, according to Lord Mark Malloch Brown, a British politician and diplomat who was in the Swiss Alps this month. “A new generation of modest, listening and empathetic leaders is needed – the antithesis of Davos Man,” he tweeted.

The World Economic Forum has steered so far to the north of public opinion that it is now being used as a punchline – the New York Times noted that “the Davos Consensus” is now a counter-indicator of what is likely to happen. “Trump is already the president at Davos — which is a good thing because the Davos consensus is usually wrong,” said Alex Soros, son of George and chair of the Open Society Foundation, on a panel at this year’s forum.

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The Galaxy Leader cargo ship is escorted by Houthi boats in the Red Sea/

Reuters

Red Sea headwinds: Will they hurt global trade?

In Davos, Yuvraj Narayan, the deputy CEO of Emirati logistics company DP World, warned that the cost of goods heading to Europe from Asia will be significantly higher because of the Houthi attacks on shipping in the Red Sea. With inflation finally starting to ease, the prospect of consumers once again feeling the pinch is unwelcome. But will they?

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U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan attends a session during the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2024.

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

US and China set up back-channel meetings as pressure over Yemen grows

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will reportedly meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi behind closed doors in the coming days to discuss the Middle East and Taiwan.

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