Sask. Senator Lillian Dyck announces retirement after serving more than 15 years


A prominent member of Canada’s senate from Saskatchewan has announced she will be saying goodbye to the Red Chamber.

Senator Lillian Dyck announced her retirement on Monday after turning 75 years old, the age limit for senators.

Dyck was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 2005. She was the country’s first female First Nations senator, as well as the first Canadian-born Chinese senator.

Before the appointment, Dyck was a neurochemistry professor and research scientist at the University of Saskatchewan.

During her career, Dyck was outspoken on many issues, including violence against women. In 2019, she successfully advocated for changes to legislation that will require judges to consider stiffer penalties for violent crimes against Indigenous women.

She also worked on Bill S-3, a bill that could restore official Indian status for thousands of women who lost their status for marrying non-indigenous men.

“We would like to pay honour and express gratitude to Senator Lillian Dyck for her years of service on the Senate of Canada” said FSIN Vice Chief Heather Bear in a news release. 

“Her dedication has also extended to her work on restoring the Rights of First Nations women to their identity — as status Indians according to the Indian Act.”

Dyck also worked toward increasing funding for on-reserve schools.

A representative said Dyck was not available for an interview.



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Senator calls for AMP execs Pahari, Murray to resign


Senator O’Neill said the company should have a zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment and the promotion meant there needed to be a change of leadership.

“For a board to know that, and to ignore it, and to go ahead and position Boe Pahari in that very senior role just speaks volumes to the tin ear that they have for the realities of our time,” Senator O’Neill told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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“It’s time for a very significant shake up in AMP. There are massive cultural problems.”

Mr De Ferrari has said addressing AMP’s cultural problems is now his number one priority but refused to comment on whether this involved sexual harassment. Senator O’Neill said it was clear there had been a mismatch between “rhetoric and action” and called on the CEO to sack key executives.

“In my view, Mr Murray needs to step aside. Mr Pahari needs to step aside. And AMP needs to return to the high esteem in which it is was once held.

“What I’m starting to see right across this country is a remorselessness from people at the top. If you want to be the leader, you need to take responsibility,” she said.

Senator O’Neill has been calling for the parliamentary financial services committee to probe AMP’s corporate governance over the termination of longstanding buy-out contracts with retiring advisers that has left many in debt and triggered a class action. She said there needs to be a full review of AMP’s corporate governance, including the sexual harassment complaint.

“AMP are eating their own. It’s just wrong,” she said.

Liberal MP Jason Falinski said the committee should probe systemic issues and queried whether AMP’s handling of Ms Szlakowski’s complaint signalled a wider problem in the legislation around corporate governance.

“This could begin the starting gun on a wider debate about sexual harassment in the workplace in Australia and maybe that’s a debate we need to have and maybe that’s one way we could start,” he said. “Do we, in Australia, have fairly rigorous laws around sexual harassment in the workplace?”

AMP chairman David Murray.Credit:Louie Douvis

Mr Falinski said AMP had “clearly” mishandled the promotion of Mr Pahari and called for the company to take further action.

“I don’t think it shows they’re not taking it [sexual harassment] seriously. What it does show is, well, given this, can you demonstrate that you take this seriously?

“Everyone deserves to work in a safe workplace in that respect. This situation has clearly raised questions and they need to assure us that’s the case.”

However, Mr Falinski stopped short of calling for Mr Murray or other executives to resign. “These are people with track records of promoting and attracting quality people regardless of their gender.”

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Senator James Paterson, who chairs the committee, said there had not been a decision on whether AMP should appear before the committee and would not comment on Senator O’Neill’s call for Mr Murray to resign.

AMP will appear before the lower house economics committee next month and chair Tim Wilson said he would probe practice and culture at the historic wealth manager.

“The current situation raises questions about internal probity and accountability, as well as whether they are investigating matters appropriately and promptly which should guide decision making about whether any executives position is tenable,” Mr Wilson said.

Mr Murray and AMP have been contacted for comment.

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Crossbench senator Rex Patrick urges government to ‘radically reduce’ Chinese diplomats in Australia

A key crossbench senator wishes at the very least 100 Chinese diplomats and consular employees kicked out of Australia.

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick argues the range of Chinese reps will have to be “radically lowered” on countrywide stability grounds.

“The Australian federal government must bite the bullet and just take prolonged overdue motion,” he stated in a assertion on Wednesday.

The intense move would certainly spark instant retaliation from Beijing, but Senator Patrick believes it would be worthwhile.

He argues Australian ministers and diplomats are previously routinely dismissed by their Chinese counterparts.

China has 148 diplomatic staff members in Australia and Senator Patrick wants “at least two-thirds” of them expelled.

He argues the Chinese diplomatic existence is “considerably bloated” offered the state has considerably a lot more employees in Australia than the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.

Senator Patrick also statements there is “no query” Chinese embassy and consular staff are engaging in espionage and political interference.

“It can be an open secret that Chinese intelligence pursuits in Australia have expanded massively more than the past two many years,” he stated.

“Even though there has been considerably community concentrate on cyber espionage, China’s clandestine attempts continue to depend heavily on standard human intelligence operations, a great deal of it below the include of diplomatic and consular exercise.”

Relations with China are already beneath significant strain immediately after Australia led intercontinental calls for a coronavirus inquiry.

Beijing has informed college students and vacationers to continue to be away from Australia, and penalised beef and barley exports.

Australia’s response to new countrywide safety legal guidelines in Hong Kong has also enraged Beijing.

Senator Patrick mentioned Australia will have to reset its marriage with China and undertake a a lot firmer footing.



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Trump Move To Free Ally Stone Is ‘Historic Corruption’: Republican Senator


Donald Trump’s commutation of the prison sentence of longtime ally Roger Stone was a case of “unprecedented, historic corruption,” Senator Mitt Romney tweeted Saturday, making his a rare Republican voice raised in criticism of the president.

Stone, who is 67, had been set on Tuesday to begin serving a 40-month prison term after his conviction on seven felony charges originally brought by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

The charges include tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to help him win the 2016 election.

Romney, who infuriated Trump when he became the only Republican to vote to convict the president in his impeachment trial, pulled no punches on Saturday.

“Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president,” he tweeted.

His blunt criticism set him apart from most Republicans, who have remained largely mute on the matter, but it aligned him with the unanimous condemnation coming from the president’s Democratic critics, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.





House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, seen on July 9, 2020, has denounced President Donald Trump’s commutation of the jail sentence of close ally Roger Stone as ‘staggering corruption’
 GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Drew Angerer

“President Trump’s decision to commute the sentence of top campaign advisor Roger Stone, who could directly implicate him in criminal misconduct, is an act of staggering corruption,” she tweeted early Saturday.

Pelosi called for legislation “to ensure that no president can pardon or commute the sentence of an individual who is engaged in a cover-up campaign to shield that president from criminal prosecution.”

Romney, the Republican nominee for president in 2012, has been shunned by some in the party since his vote on impeachment. The president’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr, called for him to be “expelled” from the party.

The flamboyant Stone, a longtime political activist and consultant — he even sports a tattoo of President Richard Nixon, for whom he once worked — is easily recognized by his trademark dark glasses and bowler hat. He and Trump were introduced in the 1980s and were said to have hit it off immediately.



Anti-Trump protesters held up signs as the motorcade carrying President Donald Trump took him to the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia on July 11, 2020


Anti-Trump protesters held up signs as the motorcade carrying President Donald Trump took him to the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia on July 11, 2020
 AFP / Alex Edelman

Trump’s action late Friday instantly brought new accusations that the president has intervened freely in the US justice system to help friends and allies like Stone, and to punish critics and perceived enemies.

In a highly unusual move in May, the US Justice Department moved to dismiss its own case against Michael Flynn, a former national security advisor to Trump, though he had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. A federal judge has demanded a further judicial review of the matter.

Stone was the first person directly involved in Trump’s campaign to receive clemency.

Indictment papers said that a top Trump campaign official had dispatched Stone to get information from the WikiLeaks organization regarding thousands of emails hacked from Democratic accounts — a leak that fueled Republican attacks on Trump’s 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton.

The Mueller report stated that “the President’s conduct could also be viewed as reflecting his awareness that Stone could provide evidence that would run counter to the President’s denials and would link the President to Stone’s efforts to reach out to WikiLeaks.

Trump has denied any knowledge of any such outreach to WikiLeaks.

On Friday, the White House defended the commutation order benefiting Stone in language reminiscent of Trump’s frequent tweets, saying “overzealous prosecutors” had pursued Stone based on charges stemming from the “Russia hoax” and political “witch hunts.”

The statement did not claim that Stone was innocent of the charges facing him but said he should have a proper chance to clear his name.

But leading Democrats said the commutation was a perversion of the American legal system.

Representative Adam Schiff, the Democrat who led the impeachment drive against Trump, put it bluntly: “With Trump there are now two systems of justice in America: One for Trump’s criminal friends and one for everyone else.”

The Washington Post editorial board, meanwhile, denounced the move in searing terms, calling it “one of the most nauseating instances of corrupt government favoritism the United States has ever seen.”





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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski apologises for explicit email to US Senator Josh Hawley


We’ve never seen a Woj bomb like this before.

American Senator Josh Hawley sent a letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver criticising the league’s once-cozy and now-complicated relationship with China. Then the NBA’s most prominent reporter offered a blunt response to the Republican.

“F*** you,” wrote ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski — who didn’t use stars in his correspondence — after being included in a press release with details of the letter.

Hawley, 40, posted a screenshot of the email, tweeting, “Don’t criticise #China or express support for law enforcement to @espn. It makes them real mad.”

Wojnarowski, held up as the gold-standard of NBA journalists, apologised soon afterwards.

Watch Live NBA every day until the playoffs with ESPN on Kayo. Starts 31st July. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

“I was disrespectful and I made a regrettable mistake,” Wojnarowski wrote on Twitter. “I’m sorry for the way I handled myself and I am reaching out immediately to Senator Hawley to apologise directly.

“I also need to apologise to my ESPN colleagues because I know my actions were unacceptable and should not reflect on any of them.”

ESPN also released a statement, declining to address whether Wojnarowski would be disciplined.

“This is completely unacceptable behaviour and we do not condone it,” the statement said. “It is inexcusable for anyone working for ESPN to respond in the way Adrian did to Senator Hawley. We are addressing it directly with Adrian and specifics of those conversations will remain internal.”

As the NBA readies for its restart to the season at the end of July, the league is allowing players to showcase social justice messages on their playing jerseys, such as “Equality”, “Black Lives Matter”, “Vote” and “I Can’t Breathe”.

However, the league limited statements to an approved list, which excluded any commentary regarding China.

In Hawley’s letter to Silver, the politician critically questioned whether “Free Hong Kong” could also be featured on the back of a player’s jersey, writing that the NBA’s “free expression appears to stop at the edge of your corporate sponsors’ sensibilities”.

In October, the NBA became embroiled in controversy in China, where the basketball-mad country has increased league revenue by billions of dollars. After Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet — “Stand with Hong Kong” — in support of the city’s pro-democracy protests, the Chinese government cancelled NBA games and events scheduled to take place in the country, while Chinese businesses cut or suspended longstanding ties with the Rockets and local fans vowed to boycott the league.

Last season, nearly 500 million people in China watched NBA programming through the country’s exclusive digital platform.

This article originally appeared on the NY Post and was reproduced with permission.





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Maine Poll Shows Biden Leading Trump, GOP Senator Collins Race Close



A poll released on Monday by left-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows presumptive Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden leading President Trump by 11 points, 53 percent to 42 percent, in Maine.

Notably, that same poll shows the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, Sara Gideon with just a four-point lead over incumbent Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), 46 percent to 42 percent. Taking Collins’s Maine Senate seat out of the Republican column and putting it into the Democratic column is considered one of the lynchpins of the Democratic Party’s 2020 election efforts to retake the majority in the U.S. Senate.

Democrats supported Gideon by a 79 percent to 13 percent margin. Republicans supported Collins by a 76 percent to eight percent margin. Independents were evenly split, with 44 percent backing each candidate.

Women supported Gideon by a 49 percent to 39 percent margin. Men supported Collins by a 46 percent to 43 percent margin.

PPP has a reputation of framing the questions in polls and organizing the respondent samples to advance a narrative supporting a progressive political agenda. Given that reputation, the fact that Gideon is running 11 points behind Biden and Collins is running four points ahead of Trump in the PPP poll released on Monday suggests that Gideon will have a much tougher time unseating Collins than Democratic Party officials had hoped.

The only other poll of the Maine 2020 Senate race match up in the Real Clear Politics Average of Polls was conducted by Colby College in February. That poll gave Gideon a one-point lead over Collins, which was within that poll’s 3.2 percent margin of error.

First elected to the Senate in 1996, Collins was reelected in 2014 by a margin of 37 percentage points.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in Maine by a margin of three points, 48 percent to 45 percent, but took only three of the state’s four electoral college votes. Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that do not award all of their electoral college votes to the overall popular vote winner in the state.

Maine awards two electoral college votes to the statewide popular vote winner of the presidential contest, one electoral college vote to the winner of the popular vote in the state’s First Congressional District and one electoral college vote to the winner of the popular vote in the state’s Second Congressional District. Due to its small population, Maine only has two congressional districts.

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in Maine’s First Congressional District in 2016 by 14 percentage points and received that district’s one electoral college vote, giving her three of the state’s four electoral college votes. Donald Trump won the popular vote in Maine’s Second Congressional District that year by ten percentage points and received that district’s one electoral college vote, giving him one of the state’s four electoral college votes.

PPP is the only firm in the Real Clear Politics Average of Polls that has polled the presidential matchup in Maine over the past year. The poll results released on Monday are virtually the same as two earlier PPP polls. One conducted in March 2020 gave Biden a ten-point lead over Trump, another conducted in October 2019 gave Biden a 12-point lead over Trump.

The questions in the poll released on Monday are consistent with PPP’s reputation for using polling as a way to establish a political narrative for the progressive agenda.

Among those questions and responses were the following:

When asked, “Do you think Donald Trump should have been impeached and removed from office, or not?” 51 percent of respondents said yes, while 44 percent said no.

Eighty-four percent of Democrats said yes, while 11 percent said no. Ten percent of Republicans said yes, while 88 percent said no. Among independents, 50 percent said yes while 42 percent said no.

The poll also asked a question framed negatively around Collins but included no such question about Gideon.

When asked, “Do you think Susan Collins is more an independent voice for Maine or a partisan voice for Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell?” 46 percent of respondents said she was a partisan voice for Trump and McConnell, while 42 percent said she was an independent voice for Maine.

The survey of 1,022 registered voters in Maine was conducted between July 2 and July 3 and has a 3.1 percent margin of error. Thirty-eight percent of poll respondents self-identified as Republican, 30 percent as Democrats, and 28 percent as independents.



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NT Police to investigate physical altercation involving senator


NT Police to investigate physical altercation involving senator

Police in the Northern Territory have confirmed they will be further investigating an altercation between Country Liberal Senator Sam McMahon and her chief of staff.

WhatsApp messages revealed complaints Senator Sam McMahon made about her chief of staff Jason Riley over an alleged physical altercation in her office.

Confirmation of a police investigation comes after the Country Liberal Party announced it was also investigating the claims.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Michael McCormack were contacted for comment.

Image: News Corp Australia



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Labor senator pulls ‘all lives matter’ post after social media backlash


A Tasmanian Labor senator has apologised for reposting an “all lives matter” image to social media, saying it was “careless and insensitive”.

Helen Polley sparked outrage on Sunday night when she shared the image, which read “every life matters no matter what the colour of your skin is”.

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Hundreds of people gathered in Hobart and Launceston on Saturday to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests that started in the United States after the death of George Floyd.

Around Australia, thousands of people protested, with the Sydney rally drawing the largest crowds after a successful last-minute court appeal to lawfully hold the protest.

Former Tasmanian Labor premier David Bartlett responded on Twitter, saying it was completely unacceptable for a representative of the Australian Labor Party, and a serious embarrassment to all in the Labor Party.

“I politely ask that you educate yourself,” Mr Bartlett tweeted.

Writer and comedian Benjamin Law urged Ms Polley to educate herself on why it might be considered offensive.

“With respect, the hashtag is one that has been started by white supremacists, similar to ‘it’s okay to be white’ – and should be avoided.”

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Senator Polley later deleted the post and tweeted that she apologised for “carelessly reposting a post which was insensitive to the #Blacklivesmatter.”

She said she has always stood against racism.

Mr Law welcomed the apology.

“Thank you for listening. We’re all learning and can always do better. Heartening to see a leader demonstrate this.”

The Labor senator has been contacted for comment.

It’s not the first time Senator Polley has fallen foul of the party line.

In 2017, she faced intense internal pressure to change her view on same-sex marriage.

Ms Polley told The Australian newspaper she had been warned by Opposition colleagues her views could lead to her being “responsible for losing the next federal election”.

Senator Polley has represented Tasmania in the Senate since July 1 2005, and was the first female president of the Tasmanian branch of the ALP from 1992-1995.

The Black Lives Matter rally attracted hundreds in Launceston on Saturday.(ABC News: Erin Cooper)



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