The Good: Canadian Service Exposed Using DNA & Ancestry Website To Deport People
Vice News Canada reported this week that officials from the Canada Border Services Agency have been using DNA collected from asylum seekers in an effort to establish their citizenship and deport them. Along with Facebook’s recent Cambridge Analytica Scandal, news of the agency’s tactics have spiked citizen’s concerns over their right to privacy online even though no sites have admitted to working directly with law enforcement. Subodh Bharati is a lawyer from the legal aid clinic at Osgoode Hall Law School who represents Franklin Godwin, a asylum seeker who gave over his DNA says the government is accessing a detainees family tree through sites like familytreeDNA.com and Ancestory.com and contacting family members.
“There are clear privacy concerns. How is the CBSA able to access this information and what measures are being put in place to ensure this information remains confidential?”
Jayden Robertson, a spokesperson for the agency made an statement declining to discuss details of ongoing cases, but did confirm “DNA testing is a measure that is used when other avenues have been exhausted…The CBSA does not publicly discuss the mechanics of its investigative techniques in a public forum, as doing so would render them ineffective,” Robertson added. “The CBSA works closely with its domestic and international law enforcement partners to enforce its mandate.”
Franklin has been detained in a maximum security prison since his arrest for drug trafficking in 1996 after he was granted asylum in Canada from Liberia, a sentence that would have taken 7 years of his life. When Canadian authorities attempted to send Franklin back to Liberia, the government refused to take him, claiming the documents he provided were fraudulent. Unable to send him home, Franklin returned and is kept in prison indefinitely.
The Bad: Wildfires In Greece May Have Been Arson
In the aftermath of the fire in Greece that has taken the lives of 81 people and potentially more, the Greek military has announced that with the help of U.S. war drones, it will be investigating the possibility that the fire was started on purpose.
Arsonists in Greece have been known to start forests fires to make way for development sites. So far the investigation has found that there were several starting points of the blaze and investigators plan to search these locations for the cause.
A combination of a dry winter, heavy wind gusts of nearly 110 km, charred acres of the mostly wooden city of Penteli in east Attica, just outside Athens. Although health officials have warned against the risk of a devastating wildfire, nothing was done to prevent a fire & the evacuation order sent out was hours late.
International support from countries like Italy have led to further rescue efforts however searching through the remains has been a slow process.
The Good: French Bodyguard Arrested For Assaulting Protestor
French President Emmanuel Macron and his cabinet have come under intense scrutiny from the citizens of France and free countries around the world after his bodyguard was identified on video assaulting protestors at a May Day demonstration earlier this year.
Alexandre Benalla, part of President Macron’s “inner circle” and Macron’s head security aide was dressed in riot gear and can be seen assaulting one women and hitting another young man.
The video had surfaced some time ago but Benalla was given a 15 day suspension and was allowed to return to work before he was fired following the positive identification made by the French newspaper Le Monde. Benalla has since been taken into custody and charged with assault.
Benalla’s lawyers says that he was simply assisting police.
This event will add to the list of known incidences involving Benalla and his history of aggressive behavior. He was also seen assaulting a camera man that he believed came to close to Macron earlier this year.
In addition to the scrutiny placed upon the Presidential palace for failing to fire Benalla after initially finding the tape. Benalla is also the recipient of a long list of royal gifts and privileges uncommon for any other personnel raising questions about the origin and nature of Marcon’s relationship with the guard.
The Bad: Suspicious Package Sent To Senator Maxine Waters
Democratic Senator Maxine Waters who has been representing the California 23rd district for XX years received a package addressed to “Anne Thrax” at her office in Los Angeles earlier this week. Police and Hazardous Materials team removed the package and later announced they didn’t believed it to be dangerous.
Senator Waters has been receiving attention lately in the political media circuit for her strong stance against President Donald Trump and encouraging activists to speak out against his policies.
Although Waters hasn’t released a formal statement concerning the package she has been on the receiving end of death threats multiple times since her induction into the senate and is even responded in an interview about the threats saying: “You better shoot straight.”
The Good: Demi Lovato Survives Overdose, Receives Care & Support
After confessing a relapse in her recent song “Sober” that came out this past June, Demi Lovato suffered a heroine overdose and was found in her home Tuesday.
Currently hospitalized and recovering, Lovato is surrounded by her family who likely saved her life said Dr. Laurence Westreich, a addition psychiatrist. After quickly giving Lovato Naloxone also called Narcan which is used to reverse the effects of opioid addiction, Lovato was admitted to the Emergency room and stabilized.
Lovato was seen on stage recently forgetting the lyrics to the song and walked off set. Her family has recently been concerned that she has been around people encouraging her to use again along with a love interest the family isn’t pleased with either. Lovato will be canceling her remaining shows and entering rehab after being released from the hospital.
From all of us here at EMCEE, we wish Demi a speedy recovery.
The Bad: R.Kelly Drops “I Admit It”
In a 19 minute song called “I Admit It” R. Kelly addresses everything from his sex tape scandal to operating a cult and plenty in between. The song and it’s content trended this week after listeners heard Kelly’s side of the story which overall made him seem like the victim. While being self deprecating at times, Kelly also seems to use his own molestation story as a part of his victimized narrative.
Social media went wild with most people dismissing the song as a ploy to receive plays and refused to listen to the song but made their voices heard regarding his history of abuse. Several celebrities also made comments on the song including Talib Kweli who said Kelly’s “lack of self awareness is atrocious. There are several lyrics I take offense to. The one I will address is “I’m just a man.” I am also a man. I would never use that to defend this behavior.”
Kelly also takes shots at John Legend, Steve Harvey and several other members of the industry claiming people are trying get him like they did with Bill Cosby. Also claiming he’s broke and touring just to pay rent. As expected, activists aren’t accepting the idea that Kelly is simply misunderstood and means well. So far no alleged victims have made any public comments on the song.
Make sure to stay up to date on the latest news every week here at EMCEE!