Rob Shaw: Premier Horgan would face tough choices for his cabinet

British Columbia Premier John Horgan. Let that phrase sink in for a minute. Because by Wednesday, it could become the new political reality. B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver will decide by then which party his three MLAs will support in a future government. Neither the NDP (at 41 seats) nor the Liberals (at 43 seats) have a majority in the 87-seat legislature, meaning Weaver’s decision will ultimately hand the premiership to the leader of that chosen party. If the Greens pick the NDP this week, that will force Premier Christy Clark to either resign or call back the legislature to watch her government defeated on a confidence vote. Either way,… Read More

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Trump’s Travel Ban Is Headed for a Supreme Court Showdown

President Trump’s “travel ban”—the two successive executive orders barring entry of persons from selected Muslim-majority countries—is headed for The Show. For those scoring at home, the first travel ban won one—in a district court in Massachusetts—and lost three, in district courts in Virginia and Seattle, and then in the Ninth Circuit before being withdrawn. The revised ban so far has gone 0-3. District courts in Maryland and Hawaii both enjoined it, and Thursday the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the Maryland court’s injunction. Because the Fourth Circuit’s decision was “en banc”—meaning decided by a full-court panel of 13 judges rather than the normal three-judge panel—there’s nowhere to… Read More

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Why Would Jared Kushner Trust Russian Officials So Much?

Why did Jared Kushner seemingly trust Russian officials more than he trusted the U.S. government? Friday evening, The Washington Post broke the story that, according to an intercepted report by the Russian ambassador in Washington to his superiors in Moscow, Kushner sought to use secure communications facilities at the Russian Embassy to correspond directly with Russian officials. The Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, reported that the proposal was made in December, after Trump won the election but before he had taken office. The conversations reportedly involved Michael Flynn, the former Trump national-security adviser who was fired after it was revealed that he lied to administration officials about the content of his… Read More

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California Democrats wrestle with proposal to replace private health insurance with `single-payer’ system

SACRAMENTO — A sweeping proposal to replace private medical insurance in California with a single, government-run health care system has suddenly taken on sharp political edges for Democrats, threatening party unity even as it promises to mobilize voters on the left. Supporters say “single-payer” proposals like Senate Bill 562, which the state Senate could vote on this week, are becoming a hard-and-fast litmus test for Democrats in California, and perhaps nationally — despite the long odds of one state going it alone with a top-to-bottom health care overhaul. “From here on out, single-payer — and in particular 562 — is going to be for Democrats what abortion is for Republicans,”… Read More

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Daphne Bramham: Fighting for the heart and soul of Vancouver

The fight over 105 Keefer St. encapsulates people’s worst fears of what Vancouver and this province may have become — a place where developers and speculators trump community, citizens and history. If approved, the proposed 12-storey building may drive a final stake through the heart of Chinatown, which is already on the list of Canada’s 10 most endangered historic sites. Meantime, under the veneer of building social housing, a wealthy developer with ties to the B.C. Liberals and Vision Vancouver may be getting a public subsidy for luxury condos. At this week’s public hearings, anti-poverty advocate Jean Swanson — an Order of Canada recipient — said that B.C. Housing’s documents… Read More

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Russian bankers sue BuzzFeed over unverified Trump dossier

By KAREN MATTHEWS NEW YORK — The owners of a Russian bank filed a lawsuit against the online publication BuzzFeed on Friday for publishing an uncorroborated dossier that alleged they were part of a Russian scheme to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan of Alfa Bank are seeking unspecified damages from BuzzFeed, editor-in-chief Ben Smith, reporter Ken Bensinger, and editors Miriam Elder and Mark Schoofs. Related Articles Russian ambassador: Kushner wanted secret channel with Kremlin Kushner now a focus in Russia investigation The dossier published Jan. 10 included explosive claims that Russian officials had compiled compromising information about Republican Donald Trump. Trump called… Read More

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B.C. Greens ‘very very close’ on power-sharing deal: Weaver

VICTORIA — B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver says he’s “very, very close” to a power-sharing deal with either the NDP or Liberal party that would determine the fate of the future B.C. government. Weaver reiterated to reporters Friday he’ll have a decision by Wednesday, when the writs are returned to the lieutenant-governor signalling the formal end of the May 9 election. Support from the Green party’s three MLAs is necessary for either the Liberals or NDP to form a government that could survive confidence votes in the legislature. “We’ve promised to give people certainty, and we will give them certainty before the writ is returned to the lieutenant-governor,” said Weaver.… Read More

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Sweeping immigration enforcement legislation passes House committee

Republicans in the House of Representatives are moving forward with sweeping immigration legislation that would crack down on sanctuary cities, hire thousands of new armed immigration officers and help facilitate President Donald Trump’s plans to deport undocumented residents. The wide-ranging bill was approved this week by the House Judiciary Committee, with all 19 Republicans on the committee supporting it and all 13 Democrats opposing it. Among a long list of other provisions, H.R. 2431 would transform an undocumented immigrant’s presence in the U.S. from a civil violation to a criminal misdemeanor with a potential 20-year prison sentence. It would essentially “turn millions of Americans into criminals overnight,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler,… Read More

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Report: Jared Kushner Asked Kislyak for Use of Russian Communications Facilities

Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to President Trump and his son-in-law, suggested to Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak that he be allowed to use Russian diplomatic facilities to communicate securely with Moscow, The Washington Post reported on Friday. The request reportedly came in a meeting in Trump Tower at the beginning of December that included Kushner, Kislyak, and former National-Security Adviser Michael Flynn. It came to the attention of American officials through intercepts of Russian communications in which Kislyak relayed the request to his superiors in Moscow; the officials who spoke to the Post specified that they were not monitoring either the meeting or the communications of the Americans who were… Read More

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