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Full House
Senior Desi
Member since: Oct 12

Posts: 2628

From My Digest "Quora" share

How deep is Canada in trouble right now for getting involved in the China-US trade war? How can Canada get out of this mess?

Mas Miwa, former Engineer at Hughes Space and Communications.. Answered Dec 14 2018

Not deep. It is becoming more obvious by the day that Canada is being held hostage by the US for an accusation made by a UK bank against Skycom, a transaction that happened in late 2010, a year after Meng was related to Skycom by being on its board (2008 to 2009). Does anyone really believe a board member is actionable in the day to day operations of a company? The common phrase for such accusations is called Trumped up charges. A very appropriate term for the POTUS declaring he can undo these charges if China surrenders to US terms of peace in the ongoing trade war. The timing is highly suspect. The judge in the case said the facts presented by the US side was suspicious.

Have you seen the US serve extradition warrants against the UK, France, Germany, or Russia for violating US sanctions against Iran? Zero! Are there US companies doing business with Iran? Yes, they are granted exemptions, almost 300 of them. How magnanimous to be the hegemon.

Decades of increasing sanctions against Iran have taken a toll on the Iranian economy and kept most companies out. But a broad range of organizations, from medical companies such as GE Healthcare to aerospace firms such as Lufthansa Technik, as well as educational institutions such as Harvard University, have obtained permission to operate in the country, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of sanctions licenses issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury in the first three months of 2014.

Below are a selection of 296 licenses, either granted or amended, for organizations to conduct business with Iran, demonstrating a sweep of legal commercial and non-profit activities that continue despite sanctions.

U.S. Department of Treasury does not make public how it reaches decisions on individual licenses, and its unclear why many of the waivers are granted.

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Post ID: 237500 31-01-19 20:07:01
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Full House
Senior Desi
Member since: Oct 12

Posts: 2628

Talking about borders: Huawei and smartphone privacy.

The Huawei logo is seen in the center of Warsaw, Poland
(Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The U.S., like many countries around the world, doesnt provide a lot of privacy rights at the border. The country can scan the electronic devices of any traveler, and save files and other data in those sweeps, and such tactics are increasingly common much to the chagrin of privacy advocates like the ACLU.

But there is a benefit of these sweeps when it comes to closing in on an international investigation. The U.S. Department of Justice charged Huaweis CFO Meng Wanzhou with a variety of crimes including bank fraud and wire fraud this week in connection with Huaweis alleged breach of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

From the indictment, some of the key evidence for the case comes from a sweep of Mengs smartphone while she passed through JFK Airport, where border officials captured Huaweis talking points about the Iran / Skycom situation. From the indictment, When she entered the United States, MENG was carrying an electronic device that contained a file in unallocated spaceindicating that the file may have been deleted []

As with debates over end-to-end encryption, there are complexities to the level of privacy that should be offered at national borders. While the general right to privacy should be protected, law enforcement should also have the tools it needs to stop crimes within a proper due process system.



Last edited by: Full House on 03-02-19 14:15:25
Post ID: 237501 31-01-19 20:08:08
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Full House
Senior Desi
Member since: Oct 12

Posts: 2628



Huaweis Meng Wanzhou: The worlds most wanted woman
Inside the high-stakes extradition fight for a top Huawei executiveand why Canadas relationship with China may never recover

Feb 4, 2019

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou leaves a Vancouver courthouse on Jan. 29, 2019. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

For about $11,000 Canadian, a first-class ticket on Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Vancouver entitles the purchaser to a suite with a seat that transforms into a bed, wood-panel finishes, an organic cotton sleep suit and, if one pleases, a flute of champagne and a tin of caviar to begin dinner service. The Dec. 1 overnight trip was smooth and speedy, arriving at the Vancouver gate at 11:17 a.m., 18 minutes ahead of schedule. Meng Wanzhou couldnt have known it at the time, but this early touchdown would shorten her remaining time as a free woman.

The snaking, glass-wall-lined corridor through Vancouvers international terminal let Meng loosen her weary legs as she headed toward the customs area. She was scheduled for a 12-hour layover before catching a red-eye to business meetings in Mexico City. But after she scanned her Hong Kong passport in the self-serve machine, border authorities flagged her for further screening.

Two days earlier, U.S. officials had caught wind of Mengs stopover in Vancouverbecause her flight from Hong Kong crossed U.S. airspace, Homeland Security had its passenger list, and by Nov. 30, a B.C. Supreme Court judge had signed a provisional warrant for the Huawei chief financial officers arrest under the Extradition Act, due to looming U.S. charges against her for fraud linked to violating international sanctions against trade with Iran. RCMP officers awaited her arrival.

Meng was escorted to a windowless room for questioning by federal authorities. The 46-year-olds severe hypertension flared up, so after the interrogation, she was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Then authorities took her to the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge, B.C., one hours drive from the airport and worlds removed from the luxuries familiar to a member of Chinese corporate royalty.

This would set off a cascade of events that now traps Canada between two antagonistic superpowersone helmed by a man obsessed with demonstrating that he always holds the strongest hand despite a feeble grasp of the state of play, the other by a leader determined to prove that his country could rocket to worldwide economic dominance without the encumbrances of Western democracy.

Mengs arrest would lead, in dizzyingly short order, to the imprisonment of two Canadians in China for reasons deliberately kept murky, and the resentencing of a third to death after his original 15-year prison term was suddenly deemed inadequate. Any pretense of friendly bilateral relations imploded as Chinese officials publicly scolded, mocked, insulted and threatened, and Canada leaned on its allies for support, with the implication that next time it could be them.

As China demanded that Canada pick a side, it would become glaringly obvious that the U.S.the closest of this countrys allies by dint of both geography and long precedentwas more interested in nabbing Meng and Huawei than any repercussions Canada might face as a result. Equally apparent was that Ottawa had been caught flat-footed, seemingly unprepared for the forces Mengs arrest would unleash. At the centre of the saga stood Huawei, telecom behemoth, striving avatar of Chinas global ambition andmany critics chargean instrument of state surveillance whose tentacles reach far beyond Chinas borders. Meng would spend months out on bail, swathed in luxurious semi-confinement in her Vancouver home, surrounded by neighbours who barely knew her, occasionally sending plaintive and oddly hammy PR missives to the outside world.

Through the ratcheting international tensions, Canadian politicians and government officials would return again and again to the phrases that are supposed to lay out how things workrule of law, international order, apolitical processas though by repeating these words like a mantra, they will suddenly matter again. Instead, the blunt fury with which Beijing reacted to the arrest of one of its most prized and prominent citizens would make that belief look like starry-eyed navet.

READ: Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhous arrest: What you need to know

The whole affair threatens to demolish Canadas carefully built relationship with China, with enormous consequences. China is Canadas second-largest trading partner, with total trade between the countries growing from $11 billion in 2001 to $64.4 billion in 2016. Eleven per cent of recent immigrants to Canada are from China, making it the third-largest source of new Canadians behind India and the Philippines. Almost a third of Canadas 500,000 international studentswho contribute more than $15 billion to the economy annuallyare Chinese.

These numbers reflect Ottawas long-held hopes of closer ties with the worlds fastest-growing economy. The Meng saga would not so much sour that burgeoning relationship as make plain the profoundly corroded ground on which it was destined to rest. Xi Jinpings China had dropped its mask.

Well before the bail hearing, the extradition request, the long list of U.S. indictments, the arbitrary detentions and death sentence for Canadian citizens and the furious diplomatic exchanges, there had been hope of something much more amiable between Ottawa and Beijing.

If there was a high point in relations between Justin Trudeaus government and Xis Chinese regime, it may have lasted for a little less than five minutes on March 19, 2017, when John McCallum presented his credentials to Xi as Canadas new ambassador.

The meeting was short, but at least Xi hadnt made the new guy wait long. McCalluma perpetually rumpled former bank economist who had held senior cabinet portfolios under Jean Chrtien, Paul Martin and Trudeauhad been in Beijing less than 24 hours. His appointment was part of a full-court Trudeau strategy to deploy top talent to deal with an increasingly complex modern world. Chrystia Freeland was the new foreign minister, tasked with keeping Donald Trump calm. Stphane Dion would be Trudeaus emissary to Brexit-tossed Europe. And McCallum, whose wife, Nancy Lim, is Chinese, and who speaks a kind of halting, nice-try Mandarin, was tasked with fulfilling the dream of generations of Canadian political leaders: a special and deeply lucrative relationship with China.

Later, McCallum told the Toronto Star his message to Xi had been that Canada wanted a deeper alliance than any previous leader on either side had envisaged. My slogan is more, more, more. We want to do more trade, more investment, more tourists, more co-operation in many areas. And back in Canada, Huawei, an increasingly visible global brand, seemed to be fulfilling that vision, wooing consumers through flashy sponsorship deals with institutions like Hockey Night in Canada, while making inroads in the countrys telecommunications infrastructure and research institutions.

McCallums arrival in Beijing kicked off nearly a year of talks between Chinese and Canadian officials on the scope of a possible free-trade agreement. But already that project was doomed. Because already, China was changing in ways that would make closer co-operation on any terms except Xis impossible.

Hed become general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and chairman of the Central Military Commission on Nov. 15, 2012, and consolidated his leadership role by launching a major anti-corruption campaign, recalls Guy Saint-Jacques, Canadian ambassador to Beijing from 2012-16, in an interview. Xi swore hed go after tigers and fliesparty figures high and lowbut its a funny thing: though there were thousands of arrests, no one close to him was arrested for corruption, Saint-Jacques says.

RELATED: For once, Canada didnt cave in to Huawei

With his leadership role consolidated, Xi set about making the CCP an effective Leninist instrument of control, a report from the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service said. The May 2018 report summarized the discussions at a conference the intelligence agency organized a few months earlier, gathering academics and think-tank specialists from around the world. Xi Jinping is driving a multi-dimensional strategy to lift China to global dominance, the report states. This strategy integrates aggressive diplomacy, asymmetrical economic agreements, technological innovation, as well as escalating military expenditures.

This new assertiveness amounted to a total abandonment of the cowed, wary stance China adopted internationally under Deng Xiaoping, its leader through the 1980s, who summed his strategy up as hide your strength and bide your time.

There was a limit to how much China could hide. World Bank figures show the countrys gross domestic product was US$347 billion in 1989; by 2012, the figure had grown to $8.6 trillion. (It has grown by nearly 50 per cent since even that relatively recent date.)

Xi used the 19th National Congress of the CCP in October 2017 to announce that Chinas bashful era was over. He set a 30-year goal to re-establish China as the worlds leading power. For a long time, [China] appeared to fear the West much more than the other way around, the CSIS report states. This is no longer the case. Indeed, under Xi, it is persistent in disputing the global rules put in place by powers it perceives as in decline.

Few companies symbolize Xis strategy as clearly as an upstart telecom launched by a former engineer from the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). It was Mengs father, Ren Zhengfei, who founded Huawei in 1987, and back when Meng was a high school student using the photocopiers at the companys Shenzhen office for her exam papers, the company was just one of many in China jostling for contracts to modernize the countrys telecommunications infrastructure.

Detractors point to Rens PLA career as evidence of the companys ties to the communist government. But Dan Breznitz, the Munk chair of innovation studies at the University of Toronto, says Huawei got less help from the state and military in its early days than most people assume. Huawei does not see itself as a creature created by Beijing, he says. It sees itself and its whole story and culture as . . . very independent.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) with Ren Zhengfei, Huawei president and father of Meng Wanzhou, in London on Oct. 21, 2015. (Matthew Lloyd/AFP/Getty Images)

But Ren did take notes from a foundational figure of the Peoples Republic. Inspired by Mao Zedongs strategy of guerrilla warfare, Huawei dispatched sales staff to Chinas rural areas first, gaining market share in areas overlooked by other companies. By the time its competitors noticed the company had emerged as a serious threat, it had already built up a solid base of business.

Meng first worked at Huawei in 1993 as a receptionist, but her career began in earnest when she returned in 1997 after completing her masters degree in accounting. (Recent reports that she dropped out of high school appear to result from the mistranslation of an interview.) By that point, Huawei was a major domestic telecom player, with its sights set on global expansion. It took on the rest of the world the same way it took on China: by selling high-quality equipment at an affordable price to overlooked developing countries first, only tackling the First World after establishing market share elsewhere. To do that, Huawei had to be aggressive, willing to bend rules while working with some of the worlds more unsavoury regimes.

This aggressive corporate culture rocketed Huawei into the Fortune 500 in 2010, with the company overtaking Swedens Ericsson as the worlds largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment in 2012. It also created a long and growing list of lawsuits, controversies and investigations. In 2001, Indian newspapers reported Huawei had developed telecommunications equipment for the Taliban in Afghanistan, which the company denied and Indian authorities never corroborated. An Algerian court convicted a Huawei executive and two others from another Chinese telecom giant, ZTE, of bribery in 2012. The year before that, the Wall Street Journal reported that Huawei had become Irans leading telecommunications provider.

Huawei apparently realized it needed to do something about its image problem, and Meng was tapped to be its kinder, gentler public face. In 2013, she started hosting media briefings on financial results and even answered questions about her family and personal life, disclosing that her fathernow CEO and a member of the board of directorsowns 1.4 per cent of the company. She said Huawei has no secrets, despite the lack of publicly available details (it is an employee-owned collective, a structure that is a holdover from the days when private companies were illegal in China, which makes its shareholder structure opaque). We already have a plan to choose a time to turn the black hole into total transparency, Meng said in the full speech, which Macleans had translated. My father said that if you tell a lie you will have to tell 10 lies to cover up the first lie. Ordinary people like us must tell the truth.

Meng is the PR-friendly face of Huawei (Davide Ferreri/Alamy)

When asked why her surname is different from her fathers, Meng said she changed it to her mothers maiden name when she was 16, but did not give any reason for doing so.

Two weeks later, a Reuters story alleged she had been busy doing some less public-facing work for Huawei. The news wire had previously reported a Hong Kong-based company called Skycom had offered to sell at least $2 million worth of equipment made by American company Hewlett-Packard to Iranian company Mobile Telecommunication Co., in violation of U.S. sanctions. The proposal included at least 13 pages marked Huawei confidential with Huaweis logo.

READ: U.S. alleges Huawei stole secrets, evaded Iran sanctions

The second Reuters report found more links between Huawei, Skycom and Canicula Holdings, the company that held Skycoms shares. The article revealed Meng served on Skycoms board from 2008 to 2009 and was Caniculas company secretary in 2007. Huawei called the link between Huawei and Skycom a normal business partnership and asserted that it complied with international law.

In August 2013, Meng was trying to convince the U.S. bank HSBC that the reports about Huaweis connections to Skycom were nothing to worry about. In a PowerPoint presentation that would be filed by the defence as an exhibit in B.C. court after she was arrested, she described Skycom as a business partner and Huaweis relationship with it as one of co-operation, not control. Relying on her assurances, HSBC decided to continue as Huaweis banker.

A year later, at an annual Huawei conference for finance professionals in New York, Meng took the stage to lavishly praise her American hosts and outline her companys relationship with the U.S. She opened her speech by saying it was no accident that the U.S. was the birthplace of the internet and the hub of technological advancement. These achievements can be attributed to the idealism and dedication of the American people and the advanced, flexible systems of the U.S., and more importantly to the American culture, in which individuals are respected, innovations encouraged, failures tolerated and intellectual property rights protected, she said. Huaweis success today is the result of continuous learning from the U.S.

Indeed, the company currently leads the global race to build the next generation of data networks, known as 5G. But already, three of Canadas allies in the Five Eyes intelligence networkthe U.S., New Zealand and Australiahave banned Huawei from their 5G infrastructure. The U.S. is leaning hard on the two holdouts, Canada and Britain, to do the same.

READ: Whats the worst China could do with access to Canadas 5G network?

The American case against Meng would assert that her PowerPoint assurances to HSBC were lies that led to banks clearing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of transactions that may have violated economic sanctions. Those transactions represent a tiny fraction of the US$92.55 billion the company reported in revenue in 2017, meaning that if the allegations are true, Huawei seemingly took an enormous risk for relatively little gain.

But Timothy Heath, a senior international defence researcher at the RAND Corporation who has also worked as a China specialist with the U.S. government and military, said the business aspects may be beside the point. Iran is an important Chinese ally, he notes, and Huawei is not the first Chinese company to be accused of violating sanctions there: I can see the Chinese government wanting to demonstrate to Iran that they are a reliable partner and friend, finding ways to discreetly provide support. Using someone like Huawei is the perfect vehicle for doing that.

Canadian government officials say there was no political coordination between Washington and Ottawanot even a courtesy heads-up for Trudeaubefore the gears of the official extradition process began turning on Nov. 30. A New York court issued the warrant for Mengs arrest last Aug. 22, but Trudeau first learned of what would be his biggest diplomatic headache more than three months later in Argentina. On Nov. 29, he landed in Buenos Aires for events scheduled around the annual summit of the Group of 20 nations. He must have expected the trips most memorable moment to be the planned Nov. 30 signing of the new NAFTA trade agreement at the Palacio Duhau hotel. Instead, that same day, his top aides briefed him on developments in Ottawa: the Canadian Department of Justices International Assistance Group had received a formal request for Mengs arrest from the U.S. Department of Justices Office of International Affairs.

Justice officials had quickly grasped the sensitivity of the request, senior government sources say, and alerted their counterparts at Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and in the Privy Council Office. Even with top politicians and their aides in the loop, however, federal officials say the process unfolded exactly as it would in less sensitive cases. The Justice Department issued whats called an authority to arrest, which allowed lawyers working for the RCMP to seek an arrest warrant from a B.C. judge.

On Dec. 1, Trump and Xialso in Buenos Aires for the G20 summithad a private dinner meeting during which the two talked themselves down from the ledge of a trade war, at least temporarily. It was, in Trumps telling, an amazing and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the United States and China. By the time the two men cut into their grilled sirloin, Meng had been taken into RCMP custody.

MORE: Can Trump really intervene in the Meng Wanzhou case?

News of her arrest didnt hit the public radar until Dec. 5, when her appearance at the courthouse in Vancouver attracted a sparse crowd. A Vancouver Sun reporter observed the tech executive in a prison-issued dark-green tracksuit, smiling and nodding to male spectators in business attire, as a Mandarin interpreter sat at her side. And once Mengs arrest went public, the Chinese embassy in Ottawa wasted no time demanding that Canada immediately correct the wrongdoing and release her.

In a conference call with reporters on Dec. 7, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canadas envoy to China, the former Liberal MP and cabinet veteran McCallum, had briefed Chinese officials about Mengs case. She declined to comment when asked about suggestions raised in the media by China observers that Beijing might strike back by detaining Canadians.

Meng was back in court that day in Vancouver, and this time, she was awaited by several dozen Canadian and international journalists, along with a large coterie of Chinese and Huawei representatives, plus interested locals. Her hearing was moved to the $7.2-million Courtroom 20, built for 2003s Air India bombing trial, a cavernous space with a 149-seat public gallery separated from the proceedings by two layers of bulletproof glass.

The court lifted a publication ban on the Americans fraud allegations against Meng, which the Crown laid out to the judge. Mengs lead defence lawyer, David Martin, gave a preview of her potential fight against the charges and extradition case: Huaweis actions were in strict legal compliance, he said, and the suggestion that a PowerPoint presentation induced the Hong Kong bank, the largest financial institution in the world, with vast compliance departments . . . to continue to provide financial services is preposterous.

Questioning why the U.S. wasnt levying a stronger sanctions-violation case against Huawei, like the battle Washington waged against Chinese tech giant ZTE, Martin hinted at a political subtext. As matters unfold in the United States, theres been an increase in velocity of conflict, he told the court. But I shouldnt speculate about that.

Indeed, the hearing wasnt about whether the accusations held water. It was about whether or not Huaweis CFO should spend the next several weeks or months in jail as she awaited an extradition hearing. John Gibb-Carsley, the Canadian government lawyer acting on behalf of the United States, argued that Mengs wealth and connections were so vast that no amount of bail or surety could keep her from fleeing once free from prison. He also suggested Meng had no meaningful connection to the Lower Mainland, and that her intent to flee was made clearer because she and fellow Huawei executives had avoided travel to the United States since spring 2017, when a grand jury subpoena likely made Huawei aware of the criminal investigation.

Martin maintained his client has strong connections to Vancouvera six-bedroom house purchased in 2009, in her husbands name, along with a much larger house acquired in the citys elite Shaughnessy neighbourhood, undergoing renovations for her familys future stays. Meng stated in an affidavit that she spends at least two to three weeks of summer in the city every year, and the defence released photographs of her posing with relatives and friends by landmarks like the Lions Gate Bridge and the legislature in Victoria.

Further, Martin said Mengs personal dignity would prevent her from breaching a court order. To do so would be to humiliate and embarrass her father, whom she loves, the lawyer said. It would humiliate and embarrass the Huawei employees and the institution as a whole . . . and given her prominence in China, she would not embarrass China itself.

Media report from Mengs Vancouver home, where she regularly receives visitors and gifts (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Martin also explained Mengs many health problems: chronic high blood pressure, 2011 surgery for thyroid cancer, and last Mays surgery for sleep apnea, which still made eating solid foods a challenge. I continue to feel unwell and I am worried about my health deteriorating while I am incarcerated, Meng said in her affidavit. Despite her precarious health, she had scheduled a whirlwind business trip for the very days she ended up in court: Mexico City to Costa Rica, then to Argentina, France and back to China, spending only a couple days in each city.

As Mengs hearing stretched into the following week, a modest clutch of Chinese-Canadians gathered to demonstrate in support of her release. Joe Luo, clad in a plum-coloured blazer, printed out small We love you Huawei posters for others to carry. He used to be an engineer for Nortel Networks, he said, so he knows Huawei is a great company, founded by great people in a great country. And stop doing the dirty work! he shouted to assembled TV cameras. For who? he was asked, and he lowered his voice near a whisper: For Americans.

One day, near the start of proceedings in Courtroom 20, someones cellphone blared March of the Volunteers, the Chinese national anthem. Mengs husband, Xiaozong Liu, sat in the front row as lawyers clashed over his viability as a guarantor for her bail as a non-resident of Canada visiting on a six-month visa.

Martin laid out details of his bail proposal, including the $15 million Meng would post, mostly comprised of equity in her familys two Vancouver houses. As part of a complex plan to assure the court that Meng would stay put if granted bail, her lawyers had lined up an Ontario company that monitors bail suspects through electronic ankle bracelets, and Lions Gate Risk Management Group, a security firm that would provide guards and technological surveillance.

READ: The lies and insults that China has pointed at Canada

The judge wanted another day to consider his bail decision, and that night, Mengs lawyers touched base with several individuals in her small local social network. On Dec. 11, Martin presented the court with a new set of Vancouverites who would help guarantee Mengs bail compliance. It was a foursome that seemed drawn from a 9:30 a.m. lineup at a Vancouver Starbucks: a realtor, an insurance agent, a wealthy homemaker and a part-time yoga instructorall Meng acquaintances in some way.

Justice William Ehrcke concluded that given several attestations to her character, and the fact that shes a well-educated businesswoman who has no criminal record, bail should be set at $7 million in cash from Meng and her husband plus $3 million in sureties from her friends, with Meng footing the bill for the security monitoring. Applause rang out from the other side of the thick glass courtroom partition, and a smiling Meng gave a thumbs-up to the public gallery, then hugged her lawyers, pausing to wipe away tears.

Mengs second, much larger home in the ritzy Shaugnessy neighbourhood of Vancouver is undergoing renovations (Jimmy Jeong)


On the other side of the globe in Beijing, McCallum had received an unusual Saturday summons from Chinas vice-minister of foreign affairs, Le Yucheng, who wanted to personally express Chinas anger over Mengs arrest. He called it unreasonable, unconscionable and vile in nature, and warned there would be grave consequences if Canada did not immediately free the Huawei executive. After that, it was the American ambassadors turn to be summoned to hear demands for the U.S. to drop its request to Canada.

Late on the eve of Justice Ehrckes bail decision, that sabre-rattling turned into action for a former Canadian diplomat named Michael Kovrig. He was working as a Hong Kong-based analyst for the International Crisis Group (ICG), an NGO that describes itself as conducting field research and offering policy recommendations to help end deadly conflicts worldwide. Kovrig had previously worked at the Canadian embassy in Beijing, specializing in detailed reporting on political issuesa job that required extensive travel in China to places most foreigners dont visit, such as Tibetan minority areas, and meeting with dissidents. All this was to take the pulse of China and try to find out what was going on, says Saint-Jacques, the former ambassador, who worked closely with him.

Kovrig, who holds a masters degree in international affairs from Columbia University, produced analysis that was balanced and thorough, Saint-Jacques adds, which ensured his work was well-received in Ottawa. Kovrig was quiet by nature, but at the end of each work week, he always joined his embassy colleagues to play ball hockey on some nearby tennis courts. In addition to his work in Beijing, he helped the consulate general in Hong Kong handle Trudeaus September 2016 visit.

He liked China so much that he wanted to stay on at the end of his term rather than return to Ottawa for more training, so Saint-Jacques offered some advice. I said, Go ahead, apply for a leave without pay, but I certainly hope that after a few years you will want to come back to the department because we need people with your skills and your competencies,  the former ambassador remembers.

Kovrig, who is in his late 40s, joined ICG in February 2017 as senior adviser for northeast Asia. The organization is well-known and highly regarded by GAC; Freeland had been scheduled to address its annual awards dinner at New Yorks swanky Mandarin Oriental hotel on Oct. 3, but she cancelled when the updated NAFTA agreement was finalized just a few days before.

While working for ICG, Kovrig was unafraid to speak his mind publicly. A few months after he started his new job, when Chinas state-run news agency Xinhua talked about Xis charisma fostering a love of China, Kovrig tweeted: Saying it dont make it so. Dear Xinhua, this is what soft power looks like. Attached was a photo of Trudeau on the cover of Rolling Stone with the headline Justin Trudeau: Why cant he be our president?

And this past October, as the China-U.S. trade war escalated, Kovrig told CNBC, [Donald Trump] may also be attempting to put more pressure on China on multiple fronts in order to gain negotiating leverage on trade. If so, this kind of linkage between issues is a risky tactic that could backfire by deepening the rift between the U.S. and China.

The remark was darkly prophetic. Although Kovrig was based in Hong Kong, he frequently visited Beijing to meet Chinese officials or attend conferences. But on Dec. 10, he wasnt in Beijing for business, but rather for a personal trip. It was cut short when the State Security Bureau picked him up on the street near the apartment where he was staying.

A few hours later, in the middle of the night, ICGs president Rob Malley was awoken by an emergency phone call to his hotel room. A friend of Kovrigs had contacted the groups office in Brussels, which tracked down Malley in Tokyo. At first, you hope its a mistake or that they just want to ask him a few questions, Malley says, but of course we know the broader context of whats happening between China and Canada.

Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig(AP/CP)

Back in Washington the day after Kovrig was picked up, a reporter asked Trump if he would intervene in Mengs case with the Justice Department. The response was a jaw-dropper even by the current administrations standard of caprice. If I think its good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever madewhich is a very important thingwhats good for national security, I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary, Trump said.

Freeland found out about Trumps remarks much as the rest of the world hears about utterances from the White House: through a news report on her phone. The following day, in a press conference just off Parliament Hill, she offered two lengthy, excruciatingly careful answers to questions about Trumps apparent politicization of the file, defending the impartiality of Canadas process. I do also think, Freeland finally got around to saying, that it is incumbent upon parties making an extradition request to be sure that extradition request is about ensuring that justice is doneis about respecting the rule of law. And our extradition partners should not seek to politicize the extradition process, or use it for ends other than the pursuit of justice and following the rule of law.

During that news conference, Ottawa journalists learned that a second Canadian had apparently been detained by Chinese officials. When Freeland was asked about reports of another missing Canadian, she offered a glimpse into the shadows-and-fog quality of sorting out whats happening in China. We were in touch with a person who was being asked some questions by Chinese authorities, Freeland said, and we have not since that moment been able to ascertain the whereabouts of that person.

The second Canadian to apparently pay the price for Mengs arrest was Michael Spavor.

He had achieved a surreal sort of notoriety in 2013, when he helped arrange for former NBA player Dennis Rodman to visit his friend for life, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. Spavor grew up near Calgary; his fascination with the Hermit Kingdom was sparked during a visit to Seoul in the late 1990s, when he came across a chapter on North Korea in a Lonely Planet guide. Just a little sliver in the back, Spavor told Macleans in a 2013 profile. It was the most interesting part of the whole book.

He eventually spent six months in Pyongyang in 2005 as a teacher with a Canadian NGO. After his return to Canada, he worked as a continuing education instructor in the ESL program at the University of Calgary. In a blog post, he shared a photo of himself and his students in Pyongyang, laughing uproariously in front of Canadian and North Korean flags. I cant remember why we are laughing, but the guy on my right was always making funny jokes, Spavor captioned it.

After moving back to Asia years later and working in various tourism and non-profit sectors in South Korea, Spavor became director of the Pyongyang Project, a Canadian non-profit meant to engage with the people of North Korea. By 2013, he could speak the North Korean dialect well enough to fool people on the phone, and when Rodman wanted to make a return visit to North Koreahis first had been arranged by a documentary crewsomeone put him in touch with Spavor as one of the few people on the planet who could make it happen. In a photo apparently taken around the time of that visit, Spavor and Kim lean companionably toward each other. The caption says the two were enjoying Long Island iced teas aboard the North Korean leaders private yacht.

In 2015, Spavor founded the Paektu Cultural Exchange, which organizes sport, business and tourist excursions to North Korea to promote greater peace, friendship and understanding.

Spavorin his mid-40swas living in Dandong, a northeastern Chinese city that looks across the Yalu River to North Korea. He remained resolutely apolitical about the North Korean regime. Im really in no position to comment on political and human rights issues, he told Macleans in 2013. Those issues are better discussed between governments.

His work didnt go unnoticed in China, and he was at one point detained for a few days for questioning. More of a Who are you and what are you doing kinda thing, Spavors friend Leo Jehn, who owns a restaurant in Seoul, recalls. He was doing something unique, so they were curious and I guess wanted to let him know he was being watched.

On Dec. 9, Spavor took to Twitter to announce some travel plans. BACK IN SEOUL! Ill be in Seoul from Monday the 10th for a few days for new consulting work :) yeah! And a few meetings. Ill be busy but if you want to have a few Makgeolis or beers with some of my friends come out he tweeted at 4:13 p.m., misspelling makgeolli, a popular Korean alcoholic beverage.

On Facebook, Spavor tagged a bunch of friends to gather them for a party once he arrived in Seoul. Its unclear when and where he was picked up by Chinese authorities, but he never made it to that gathering. After Jehn realized what had happened to Spavor, he tried to look back at the Facebook Messenger history in which he and his friend had talked about his trip to Seoul, but the messages had been deleted. The two follow each other on Instagram, too, and the social-media site showed recently that someone had signed into Spavors accountsix weeks after he was locked up.

Michael Spavor (AP/CP)

It is grimly unsurprising to Saint-Jacques that the Chinese targeted Kovrig and Spavor, who would both eventually be accused of endangering national security. Chinas national security law, adopted in 2015, is sweeping and general by design, he says, a net constructed in such a way that it can scoop up anyone. Spavor would have been an obvious target because of his uncommon access to North Korea, a territory over which China is protective; the very skills and experience that made Kovrig so valued at the embassy would have made him similarly suspect. When youre a diplomat in China and you speak Mandarin, you are a potential spy, Saint-Jacques says. And because he travelled to remote areas, Im sure he was on the radar.

The walls have eyes and ears in China, Saint-Jacques sayscameras and facial-recognition software are everywhereand locals who meet with foreigners may be required to helpfully debrief their government on the conversation afterwards. He is convinced the Chinese maintain lists of carefully watched foreigners of various nationalitiesa sort of human catalogue of bargaining chips at the ready. If a problem occurs with a country of this foreigner, they will just nab him either to try to use this person to do a swap, or to try to punish, he says. For foreigners who travel to China or live in China, they have to keep that in mind. You could be a target at some point.

On Dec. 14unusually soon by the standards of Chinese detentionMcCallum was allowed to meet with Kovrig. Two days later, he met with Spavor. When Canadian officials are allowed to visitgenerally once a month, as laid out in Canadas consular agreement with Chinathey get just 30 minutes. So consular staff would have met in advance to go over the key information they needed to obtain from Kovrig and Spavor. You want obviously to make the best use of the time, so you will ask questions about how is the person, what kind of pressure he or she is under, Saint-Jacques says. The locations where people are detained are kept secret, so Canadian officials would be taken to another designated spot for the meeting. Its very short, its controlled, says Saint-Jacques.

Following these first visits with Kovrig and Spavor, GAC was publicly tight-lipped, merely confirming the meetings and vowing to continue to work with the detained men and their families, but offering no details on their condition or treatment.

Behind the scenes, though, there was a coordinated push from Canadian officials at all levels. TheToronto Star reported that in response to Trumps musings about striking some kind of trade deal with China involving Meng, Trudeau asked the U.S. president to ensure that any such agreement would include freeing the two detained Canadians. Other Canadian officials pressed that point with their American counterparts as well, according to the report.


Huawei, meanwhile, was stepping up its PR campaign, publishing on its corporate website what it said was a Dec. 19 excerpt from Mengs diary. Meng wrote that during her bail hearing, many strangers had called her lawyer offering their own property to cover her bond; these people did not know her personally, she said, but knew Huawei and wanted to help. My lawyer said that in his 40 years of professional career he had never seen anything like this, she marvelled.

The executive also said she had received a WeChat message from a Japanese stranger, the serendipitous arrival of which prompted Meng to share a long meditation on Huaweis efforts to assist after the Fukushima earthquake. I rarely mention this experience, and I have nothing to be proud of. Its just my job. As they say, Good people will be rewarded for what they do,  she wrote. She added, When I read the words of the Japanese citizen, I could not help bursting into tears, not for myself, but for so many people who believe and trust me.

The diplomatic mess over Mengs arrest was dominating the Liberal governments attention as Parliament broke for the year-end holiday. On Dec. 21, Trudeau met in his offices across Wellington Street from Parliament with the top federal figures on Chinese issuesincluding Freeland, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance.

That meeting marked a shift toward a more high-intensity Canadian push to persuade allies to take public aim at China over the detentions. We are deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention by Chinese authorities of two Canadians earlier this month and call for their immediate release, Freeland said in a statement released later that day. I wish to express Canadas appreciation to those who have spoken recently in support of the rule of law as fundamental to free societies. The next day, in a conference call with journalists, she said Canadas ambassadors would be asking for support in a campaign to put pressure on Beijing.

At that point, the U.S., Britain and the European Union had already voiced support for Canada. On Christmas Eve, China snapped back. Whats this got to do with Britain and the EU? Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying asked. When the Canadians illegally detained a senior executive at a Chinese company at the request of the United States, where were they?

But Trudeau and Freeland kept chalking up statements of support, or noting when they had raised the issue in conversations with their counterparts in other countries. By mid-January, Trudeau talked about China with six heads of governmentamong them Trump, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and German Chancellor Angela Merkelplus European Council President Donald Tusk and United Nations Secretary-General Antnio Guterres. His officials tallied public statements of support from 11 countries, including Australia, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Latvia and Spain.

GAC, meanwhile, adjusted its travel advisory for China, urging Canadians to use increased caution because of arbitrary enforcement of local laws.

China seemed less daunted than defiant. In fact, the lengthening list of mostly Western nations critical of Beijings seizing of the Canadians seemed to prompt some innovations in the Xi regimes rhetoric. On Jan. 9, Lu Shaye, Chinas ambassador in Ottawa, wrote an extraordinary op-ed in the Hill Times, accusing his countrys critics of a double standard in their refusal to see Mengs arrest and the detentions of Kovrig and Spavor in the same light. The reason why some people are used to arrogantly adopting double standards is due to Western egotism and white supremacy, Lu wrote. In a press conference, he also threatened consequences if Canada banned Huawei from its 5G network.

In Beijing, Canadian consular officials were permitted second meetings with both Kovrig and Spavor, but then China abruptly tightened the screws in deadly fashion on a third imprisoned Canadian.

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, an oil field worker originally from Abbotsford, B.C., arrived in China in November 2014 while travelling across southeast Asia. Hed left behind in Canada convictions for drug offences, and a B.C. judge in 2012 had noted that Schellenbergs father had turned his back on him because of his criminal history, though other family members stood by him.

Once in China, Schellenberg was introduced to a translator through a mutual friend. The translator, Schellenberg said, turned out to be part of a drug-trafficking syndicate. I am not a drug smuggler. I came to China as a tourist, Schellenberg said recently in a Chinese courtroom, according to Agence France-Presse.

Within weeks of his arrival, Schellenberg tried to depart for Thailand, at which point he was arrested, according to Chinese media. Prosecutors said he was hiding more than 200 kg of crystal meth in car tires, with a plan to ship the drugs out of the eastern Chinese port city of Dalian to Australia.

Schellenbergs first trial stretched over two and a half years, and he was sentenced in November 2018 to 15 years in prison. But at his appeal hearing in late December, prosecutors said more evidence had surfaced that proved he was involved in the smuggling operation, which made his sentence insufficiently harsh, so a retrial was ordered. Foreign media were invited to watch-a rare occurrence in Chinese courtrooms, and a move that seemed designed to ensure the proceedings grabbed international attention. In a one-day trial on Jan. 14, he was convicted and sentenced to death.

Worst-case fear confirmed, Schellenbergs aunt, Lauri Nelson-Jones, told media. Freeland slammed Schellenbergs sentence as inhumane and inappropriate, while Trudeau voiced the extreme concern of Canada and its broad coalition of international friends and allies.

Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg (eyepress/Newscom)

Then, near the end of January, while speaking to Chinese-language media in his former riding of Markham-Thornhill in Toronto, McCallum made heads explode across Ottawa when he made the baffling decision to publicly lay out the case for Mengs fight against extradition. I think she has quite good arguments on her side, he said. One, political involvement by comments from Donald Trump in her case. Two, theres an extraterritorial aspect to her case. And three, theres the issue of Iran sanctions in her case, and Canada does not sign on to these. So I think she has some strong arguments she can make before a judge. McCallum attempted to walk back the comments the next day, saying he misspoke.

RELATED: Meng, McCallum and the worst foreign policy bungle in a generation

Through the entire affair, federal government officials had been at pains to emphasize again and againto both the Americans and the Chinese, depending on who seemed to need to hear it mostthe absence of political meddling in Mengs case in rule-of-law Canada. Trudeaus response to questions about McCallums extemporaneous musings echoed that. We will ensure, as a government and as a country, that all the rules and the independence of our justice system is properly defended and properly supported, he said.

The day after McCallum issued his mea culpa, he told a StarMetro reporter that it would be great for Canada if the U.S. were to drop its extradition request. Whether it was because McCallum had the wrong idea or because he had the right idea but said it in his outside voice, Trudeau had had enough; under pressure from the Conservatives, he asked for and received the ambassadors resignation. The PMO statement announcing his ouster included plenty of praise for McCallums two decades of service as a cabinet minister, but nary a word explaining his canning. Two days later, Freeland said McCallum had to go because his comments were inconsistent with the governments position that Mengs case is a judicial one free of political meddling.

In fact, the process is by no means that clear-cut. Under Canadas Extradition Act, Mengs arrest started a clock ticking, giving American authorities 60 daysuntil Jan. 30, 2019to make a formal extradition request, including evidence mustered against her (they did so one day before the deadline). Then the Canadian Justice Department has until March 1 to issue whats called an authority to proceed. Assuming the Justice Department issues that within the 30-day period, an extradition hearing before the B.C. Supreme Court will be scheduled. And if the court decides Meng should be committed for extradition, the justice ministernot a judgedecides whether to actually surrender her to the Americans. The process can stretch on for months or years.

In a press conference carried live on CNN two days before the extradition request deadline, the Americans slammed the door on any hope Canada had that it might wriggle out of this trap. The U.S. Department of Justice unsealed a 13-count indictment against Huawei, including charges of bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud against Meng.

Its important to understand that Ms. Meng has been charged based upon her own personal conduct and not because of actions or misconduct by other Huawei employees, said Richard Donoghue, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker added that the Americans were deeply grateful to the government of Canada for its assistance and steadfast commitment to the rule of law.


Through this whole affair, there has been a vocal school of thoughtcounting among its members former foreign affairs minister John Manley, who told CBC that Canada should have displayed a little bit of creative incompetence at YVRthat a sharper Canadian government would have found a way out of its current position, wedged between two warring giants.

Tourism companies that arrange trips between Canada and China in both directions have reported a drop in business, and a Nanos poll conducted for the Globe and Mail in early January found that 56 per cent of Canadians think Mengs arrest is primarily a justice issue and that Canada did the right thing. However, 29 per cent of Canadians align with Beijings views, believing the arrest was politically and economically motivated. Eight in 10 Canadians have a negative view of Chinas one-party system, the poll found, and 53 per cent see China as a threat to Canadas national security.

As for the federal governments views, what seems clear is that at some point between Trudeaus late-2017 visit to Beijing and now, the thinking about Chinawhat was possible in terms of trade and general friendliness, what the moral and democratic costs of that would be and whether it was worth itchanged. McCallumand others in the Ottawa orbitseem to have missed the memo, perhaps because none was issued. Even now, in the midst of an international uproar in which three Canadian lives hang in the balance, there is little clarity on the federal governments thinking about China.

There is, however, no shortage of analysis available to inform such thinking, and it does not paint a reassuring picture. China has not emerged as a benign and benevolent beast, writes Jonathan Manthorpe in a fascinating new book, Claws of the Panda: Beijings Campaign of Influence and Intimidation in Canada. Far from it. It has all the hallmarks of a fascist regime, if one accepts the definition of fascism as being a country with a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation and forcible suppression of the opposition.

Manthorpe is a veteran foreign correspondent whose previous postings include Hong Kong, and Claws of the Panda will become the definitive guidebook for understanding the Canada-China relationship. The ideaadvanced by the late Pierre Trudeau, among othersthat an open China would inevitably adjust its political, business and social practices to fit with international norms has been a resounding failure, he writes.

When the last great China optimist, Jean Chrtien, was elected, Canada still had a larger GDP than China. Now Chinas is larger than Canadas by a factor of 10, and Canada has fallen from being Chinas fourth-largest trading partner in 1970 to its 21st-largest in 2016.

The elder Trudeaus opening of diplomatic relations signalled an end to Western isolation of Mao in 1970. Chrtiens first Team Canada trade trip to Beijing in 1994 ended a second stage of isolation after the Tiananmen Square massacre. Canada had served its purpose, Manthorpe writes.

He does not call for anything resembling an end to Canada-China relations, but Manthorpe argues Canadian politicians need to assume a much tougher and more self-assured attitude toward Beijing. Pushing back isnt futile, he writes: The party and its operatives are often off-balance when dealing with established democratic societies.

Lu, the ambassador in Ottawa, has warned Canada off engaging in microphone diplomacy over the imprisoned Canadians, and insisted, for instance, that the World Economic Forum was not the place to agitate for further international support. We hope the Canadian side will think twice before acting, he said.

Freeland ignored this when she went to Davos near the end of January, making the rounds of high-level officials from Italy, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Jordan, Romania and Ukraine to highlight Canadas deep concerns regarding Chinas actions against Canadian citizens and to thank those partners who have spoken up in defence of the rule of law and against arbitrary detentions and the death penalty.

China has repeatedly dismissed the idea of other countries standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Canada as irrelevant and counterproductive. But of course, hollering that someone should stop doing something is an odd way to demonstrate that you dont care about it. Xi Jinping is a very proud individual. They want to project the image that they have made it, but this is bad publicity, says Saint-Jacques. Previously, when they were punishing a country and nobody else would react, they were sending the message to others: Dont mess with us because we will do the same thing with you. Now, I hope that this early solidarity will continue.

Mengs bail conditions include a weekly trip to a federal probation office in downtown Vancouver (Jimmy Jeong)

Meng, meanwhile, has been living a comfortable, if carefully monitored, life on bail. She has travel privileges across roughly 250 sq. km, including Vancouver, much of Richmond and the North Shore. She must steer clear of the airport, be accompanied out by her court-ordered security minders and be at home between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., unless her bail supervisor permits otherwise.

She has one specific appointment every week, six kilometres from home. Its a trip to the federal probation office in a Burrard Street plaza above an insurance office and Hawaiian poke restaurant, across the street from a Ferrari and Maserati dealership. On one of these recent visits, Meng wore an Herms scarf and carried a woven leather handbag by the Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta.

But it appears she spends most of her time at home, where guards keep watch around the clock on eight-hour shifts, and she regularly receives guests and gifts. One overcast Friday morning in January, movers from a Richmond home design store parked a truck at Mengs curbside as they moved furniture in. Otherwise, it was a quiet scene, one of waitinga former police officer standing in her front yard, drivers in a pair of hulking black SUVs across the street, someone else in a Toyota SUV by her rear lanes garage. Inside the tall-fenced backyard stood a green portable toilet for the use of Mengs minders.

Shortly before noon, after the furniture truck was gone, a black Suburban pulled up and deposited two women carrying stuffed plastic bags from T&T Supermarket. They registered with a clipboard-toting guard, and a man exited the house to help the women with their bags.

While Meng has been living in a gilded fishbowl surrounded by the comforts of home, only the most shadowy information is known about where the three Canadians are and how they are being treated. Schellenberg is awaiting a response to the death-sentence appeal he was required under Chinese law to write himself, while Kovrig and Spavor are interrogated for hours each day and kept in cells where the lights blaze and they are supervised around the clock. Everything they say during questioning is recorded, and they have been forced to hand over the passwords to their social-media accounts.

When consular officials are permitted a monthly visit with the detained men, theyre forbidden to speak French so that Chinese authorities can monitor their conversations. Consular staff gather medications and books, letters and photos from worried families to pass along at these visits, knowing that guards will scrutinize them for hidden messages.

The lights, the limitations, and especially the uncertaintythe entire process is designed to ratchet up the psychological pressure bearing down on the imprisoned Canadians, while Beijing applies a parallel order of stress to Canada in the realm of international relations.

There is an inescapable feeling that no one involved will be sprung from their trap until Meng goes free.

with files from Terry Glavin





Post ID: 237555 24-02-19 19:04:53
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Full House
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MWC 2019 Galaxy S10 Pixel 3 Honor 10 Lite Nokia 9 Huawei P30 Best phones 2019 Best budget phone Xperia XZ4

Huawei Mate X outshines Samsungs folding phone in almost every way
February 24, 2019 4:51 pm

huawei mate x
5GMWC 2019
The dazzling Huawei Mate X folding phone has just been unveiled at MWC 2019, just days after the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold. However, the two handsets are very different, with the Mate X looking to eclipse the Galaxy Fold in every department.

To our frustration, neither Huawei nor Samsung have yet published a full specs list for their folding phones, but heres how they compare, based on the information the two companies have provided.

Heres how the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X compare.

Read more: Best smartphone

Samsung Galaxy Fold vs Huawei Mate X Design
Samsung and Huawei have gone down very different routes for their folding phones. While the Fold has one external and one internal display, the Mate X has two screens that face outwards at all times.

Design-wise, theres only one winner here, and its definitely not Samsung. The Mate X is far and away the more attractive of the two devices.

Please read it all in the link, under this. Your wallet will get a lot lighter after the purchase.






Last edited by: Full House on 25-02-19 16:14:00
Post ID: 237556 24-02-19 19:50:19
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I recently went on a trip and made strangers do dance fitness choreography with me. The goal is to showcase that anyone can dance, it just takes a little sense of humor! By the end of this video these people were no longer strangers, but my new friends. My passion is getting others to dance.

Wanna GO TO Havana? Here is a short cut. Now loose a few pounds too, to go with it.


Last edited by: Full House on 28-02-19 23:31:30
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Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou's extradition to U.S. gets a green light from feds in CANADA


In this Dec. 12, 2018, file photo, Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou arrives at a parole office in Vancouver. Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA The federal Justice Department gave the go-ahead Friday for an extradition case to proceed against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who is wanted in the United States on fraud allegations.

The decision marks the formal start of the high-profile extradition process for Meng, whose arrest has put Canada in a deeply uncomfortable position between two superpowers.

Canadas relationship with China its second-biggest trading partner has deteriorated since Mengs December arrest in Vancouver.

The arrest of the Chinese telecom giants chief financial officer has angered Beijing, which has warned Ottawa of serious consequences unless she is released.

China has also criticized Canada for acting on what it sees as a politically motivated extradition request from the Americans, particularly after U.S. President Donald Trump publicly contemplated intervening in Mengs case in the interests of securing a better trade deal with China.

Throughout, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has maintained Canada is simply following the rule of law.

The government news release Friday announcing the decision appeared to take into consideration the deeply sensitive nature of Mengs case and the allegations of political interference that have surrounded it. The first line in the release declares: Canada is a country governed by the rule of law.

It goes on to say the decision follows a thorough and diligent review of the evidence in this case.

Ultimately, Justice Minister David Lametti must decide whether Meng is extradited, which is why his department said that he will not comment on the facts of the case.

The case heads back to the British Columbia Supreme Court on Wednesday to confirm that the authority to proceed has been issued. The court will also schedule the date for the extradition hearing.

The document also said the extradition hearing is not a trial and it wont render a verdict of guilt or innocence. If Meng is eventually extradited, her actual trial will take place in the United States.

Following Fridays decision, Mengs defence team said in a statement that it is disappointed the justice minister is proceeding with the process in the face of the political nature of the U.S. charges and where the president of the United States has repeatedly stated that he would interfere in Ms. Mengs case if he thought it would assist the U.S. negotiations with China over a trade deal.

The statement, signed by David J. Martin, said the defence is also concerned the minister gave his approval even though the acts the U.S. wants to try Meng for would not be an offence in Canada.

This is an affront to the foundational extradition principle of double criminality, the statement said. Our client maintains that she is innocent of any wrongdoing and that the U.S. prosecution and extradition constitutes an abuse of the processes of law. Our client looks forward to having her rights vindicated in the judicial phase of the extradition process.

The U.S. Department of Justice has laid out 13 criminal counts of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction against Huawei and Meng, who is the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei.

The indictment accuses Huawei and Meng of misrepresenting their ownership of a Hong Kong-based subsidiary between 2007 and 2017 to circumvent U.S. sanctions against Iran. The companys U.S. branch is also accused of stealing trade secrets and equipment from cellphone provider T-Mobile USA.

In the days that followed Mengs arrest, China detained two Canadians. Michael Kovrig, a Canadian diplomat on leave, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur, on allegations of engaging in activities that have endangered Chinas national security. They remain in Chinese custody, getting monthly visits from Canadian diplomats.

China also sentenced another Canadian, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, to death in a sudden retrial of his drug-smuggling case. He was originally sentenced in 2016 to a 15-year term, but the court delivered the new sentence after reconsidering his case.

Western analysts believe the arrests and the death sentence are part of an attempt by Beijing to pressure Canada into releasing Meng.



Post ID: 237564 02-03-19 15:49:15
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If YES, then just listen to this one and swing your booties just a little and GO.

I like the words to it too. So here it is under this.



[Chorus: Camila Cabello & Pharrell Williams]

Havana, ooh na-na (ayy)
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh na-na (ayy, ayy)
He took me back to East Atlanta, na-na-na, ah
Oh, but my heart is in Havana (ayy)
There's somethin' 'bout his manners (uh huh)
Havana, ooh na-na (uh)

[Verse 1: Camila Cabello & Pharrell Williams]
He didn't walk up with that "how you doin'?" (uh)
When he came in the room
He said there's a lot of girls I can do with (uh)
But I can't without you
I knew him forever in a minute (hey)
That summer night in June
And papa says he got malo in him (uh)
He got me feelin' like...

[Pre-Chorus: Camila Cabello & Pharrell Williams]

Ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh (ayy)
I knew it when I met him (ayy), I loved him when I left him
Got me feelin' like, ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
And then I had to tell him, I had to go
Oh na-na-na-na-na (woo)

[Chorus: Camila Cabello & Pharrell Williams]

Havana, ooh na-na (ayy, ayy)
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh na-na (ayy, ayy)
He took me back to East Atlanta, na-na-na (uh huh)
Oh, but my heart is in Havana (ayy)
My heart is in Havana (ayy)
Havana, ooh na-na

[Verse 2: Young Thug]
Jeffery, just graduated, fresh on campus, mmm
Fresh out East Atlanta with no manners, damn (fresh out East Atlanta)
Bump on her bumper like a traffic jam
Hey, I was quick to pay that girl like Uncle Sam (here you go, ayy)
Back it on me
Shawty cravin' on me, get to eatin' on me (on me)
She waited on me (then what?)
Shawty cakin' on me, got the bacon on me (wait up)
This is history in the makin', on me (on me)
Point blank, close range, that B
If it cost a million, that's me (that's me)
I was gettin' mula, baby

[Chorus: Camila Cabello & Pharrell Williams]

Havana, ooh na-na (ayy, ayy)
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh na-na (oh, ayy, ayy)
He took me back (uh huh) to East Atlanta, na-na-na (oh, no)
Oh, but my heart is in Havana (ayy)
My heart is in Havana (ayy)
Havana, ooh na-na

[Bridge: Starrah & Camila Cabello]
Ooh na-na, oh, na-na-na (ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
Take me back, back, back like...
Ooh na-na, oh, na-na-na (yeah, babe)
Take me back, back, back like...
Ooh na-na, oh, na-na-na (yeah, yeah)
Take me back, back, back like...
Ooh na-na, oh, na-na-na (yeah, babe)
Take me back, back, back
Hey, hey...
Ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh (hey)
Ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh (hey)
Take me back to my Havana...

[Chorus: Camila Cabello & Pharrell Williams]

Havana, ooh na-na (hey)
Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh na-na (oh, yeah)
He took me back to East Atlanta, (ayy, ayy) na-na-na
Oh, but my heart is in Havana
My heart is in Havana (ayy)
Havana, ooh na-na

[Outro: Starrah, Camila Cabello & Pharrell Williams]

Uh huh
Oh, na-na-na (oh, na, yeah)
Oh, na-na-na
Oh, na-na-na (no, no, no, take me back)
Oh, na-na-na
Havana, ooh na-na


Last edited by: Full House on 15-03-19 01:19:14
Post ID: 237613 15-03-19 01:16:11
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IN Annals of Communications, The Terrifying Potential of the 5G Network, opens up a scary world. BUT
The future of wireless technology holds the promise of total connectivity. But it will also be especially susceptible to cyberattacks and surveillance.

By Sue Halpern, April 26, 2019

A Huawei engineer checks on cabling during 5G equipment trials in London, in March. Cybersecurity experts have accused Huawei of being a conduit to Chinese intelligence.
Photograph by Simon Dawson / Bloomberg / Getty

In January, 2018, Robert Spalding, the senior director for strategic planning at the National Security Council, was in his office at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, across the street from the White House, when he saw a breaking-news alert on the Axios Web site. Scoop, the headline read, Trump Team Considers Nationalizing 5G Network. At the time, Spalding, a brigadier general in the Air Force who previously served as a defense attach in Beijing, had been in the military for nearly three decades. At the N.S.C., he was studying ways to insure that the next generation of Internet connectivity, what is commonly referred to as 5G, can be made secure from cyberattacks. I wasnt looking at this from a policy perspective, he said. It was about the physics, about what was possible. To Spaldings surprise, the Axios story was based on a leaked early draft of a report hed been working on for the better part of a year.

Two words explain the difference between our current wireless networks and 5G: speed and latency. 5Gif you believe the hypeis expected to be up to a hundred times faster. (A two-hour movie could be downloaded in less than four seconds.) That speed will reduce, and possibly eliminate, the delaythe latencybetween instructing a computer to perform a command and its execution. This, again, if you believe the hype, will lead to a whole new Internet of Things, where everything from toasters to dog collars to dialysis pumps to running shoes will be connected. Remote robotic surgery will be routine, the military will develop hypersonic weapons, and autonomous vehicles will cruise safely along smart highways. The claims are extravagant, and the stakes are high. One estimate projects that 5G will pump twelve trillion dollars into the global economy by 2035, and add twenty-two million new jobs in the United States alone. This 5G world, we are told, will usher in a fourth industrial revolution.

A totally connected world will also be especially susceptible to cyberattacks. Even before the introduction of 5G networks, hackers have breached the control center of a municipal dam system, stopped an Internet-connected car as it travelled down an interstate, and sabotaged home appliances. Ransomware, malware, crypto-jacking, identity theft, and data breaches have become so common that more Americans are afraid of cybercrime than they are of becoming a victim of violent crime. Adding more devices to the online universe is destined to create more opportunities for disruption. 5G is not just for refrigerators, Spalding said. Its farm implements, its airplanes, its all kinds of different things that can actually kill people or that allow someone to reach into the network and direct those things to do what they want them to do. Its a completely different threat that weve never experienced before.

Spaldings solution, he told me, was to build the 5G network from scratch, incorporating cyber defenses into its design. Because this would be a massive undertaking, he initially suggested that one option would be for the federal government to pay for it and, essentially, rent it out to the telecom companies. But he had scrapped that idea. A later draft, he said, proposed that the major telecom companiesVerizon, A.T. & T., Sprint, and T-Mobileform a separate company to build the network together and share it. It was meant to be a nationwide network, Spalding told me, not a nationalized one. They could build this network and then sell bandwidth to their retail customers. That was one idea, but it was never that the government would own the network. It was always about, How do we get industry to actually secure the system?

Even before Spalding began working on his report, the telecom companies were rolling out what they were calling their new 5G services in test markets around the country. In 2017, Verizon announced that it would be introducing 5G in eleven municipalities, including Dallas, Ann Arbor, Miami, and Denver. A.T. & T. was testing its service in a dozen cities. T-Mobile was concentrating on Spokane. For the most part, they were building their new services on top of existing infrastructureand inheriting its vulnerabilities. As the Clemson University professor Thomas Hazlett told me, This is just the transitional part. You have various experiments, you do trial in the market, and various deployments take place that lay a pathway to something that will be truly distinguishable from the old systems.

In the meantime, the carriers jockeyed for position. A lawsuit brought by Sprint and T-Mobile, which was settled on Monday, claimed that A.T. & T.s 5GE service, where E stands for evolution, was just 4G by another name. According to Spalding, when the carriers heard that the government was considering nationalizing the future of their industry, they quickly mobilized against it. As Ive talked to people subsequently, they said theyve never seen that industry unite so quickly, Spalding said. They have such support in government and on the Hill and in the bureaucracy, and they have such a huge lobbying contingent, that it was across the board and swift. The Axios story came out on a Sunday. The following day, Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, roundly rejected any idea of federalizing the Internet, saying that the market, not government, is best positioned to drive innovation and investment. By Wednesday, Spalding was out of a job. There was no Hey, thank you for your service, Spalding told me. It was just Get out. Dont let the door hit your butt.

Huawei, a Chinese manufacturer of consumer electronics and telecommunications equipment, is currently the global leader in 5G technology. Founded, in the eighties, by Ren Zhegfei, an engineer who began his career in the Peoples Liberation Army, Huawei has been accused by cybersecurity experts and politicians, most notably Donald Trump, of being a conduit to Chinese intelligence. In an op-ed in the Washington Post, the Republican senators Tom Cotton, of Arkansas, and John Cornyn, of Texas, characterized the company, which is funded with subsidies from the Chinese government, as a Trojan horse that could give China effective control of the digital commanding heights. They tell the story of the African Union, which installed Huawei servers in its headquarters, in Addis Ababa, only to discover that those servers had been sending sensitive data back to China every evening. Although Huawei vigorously denies that it is an agent of the Chinese government, the senators pointed out, the company is subject to a Chinese law that requires companies to coperate with the state intelligence apparatus. The Times of London reported that the C.I.A. has evidence that Huawei has taken money from the P.L.A., as well as from branches of the Chinese intelligence service. Australia, Japan, and New Zealand have joined with the United States in banning Huawei hardware from their networks.

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So far, though, the Trump Administrations campaign to shut out Huawei is finding limited traction. The European Union is poised to reject American entreaties, with individual countries like Portugal and Germany expressing a willingness to use Huawei equipment. Canada is relying on Huawei for at least one 5G trial. Even A.T. & T., which is bound by the federal guidelines that will go into effect next year in the U.S., continues to use Huawei equipment in Mexico, where it is the third-largest wireless company. Huawei equipment is cheaper than its Western rivals and, in the estimation of researchers at the Defensive Innovation Board (DIB), which advises the Secretary of Defense on new technologies, in many cases, it is superior. By the start of this year, Huawei had cornered nearly thirty per cent of the global telecommunications-equipment market, and its revenue was thirty-nine-per-cent higher than the year before. According to the DIB, its continued growth will allow China to promote its preferred standards and specifications for 5G networks and will shape the global 5G product market going forward.
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There are very good reasons to keep a company that appears to be beholden to a government with a documented history of industrial cyber espionage, international data theft, and domestic spying out of global digital networks. But banning Huawei hardware will not secure those networks. Even in the absence of Huawei equipment, systems still may rely on software developed in China, and software can be reprogrammed remotely by malicious actors. And every device connected to the fifth-generation Internet will likely remain susceptible to hacking. According to James Baker, the former F.B.I. general counsel who runs the national-security program at the R Street Institute, Theres a concern that those devices that are connected to the 5G network are not going to be very secure from a cyber perspective. That presents a huge vulnerability for the system, because those devices can be turned into bots, for example, and you can have a massive botnet that can be used to attack different parts of the network.

This past January, Tom Wheeler, who was the F.C.C. chairman during the Obama Administration, published an Op-Ed in the New York Times titled If 5G Is So Important, Why Isnt It Secure? The Trump Administration had walked away from security efforts begun during Wheelers tenure at the F.C.C.; most notably, in recent negotiations over international standards, the U.S. eliminated a requirement that the technical specifications of 5G include cyber defense. For the first time in history, Wheeler wrote, cybersecurity was being required as a forethought in the design of a new network standarduntil the Trump F.C.C. repealed it. The agency also rejected the notion that companies building and running American digital networks were responsible for overseeing their security. This might have been expected, but the current F.C.C. does not consider cybersecurity to be a part of its domain, either. I certainly did when we were in office, Wheeler told me. But the Republicans who were on the commission at that point in time, and are still there, one being the chairman, opposed those activities as being overly regulatory.

The Trump Administration, keen to win what it has characterized as the race to 5G, may be more interested in attempting to put a brake on Huaweisand, by extension, Chinasprogress. In January, the companys chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, a daughter of the Huawei founder, was indicted on thirteen counts in the U.S., including breaking sanctions against Iran, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. Meng is currently under arrest in Canada and fighting extradition. Ajit Pai, the F.C.C. chairman, recently announced that the commission will block another Chinese company, China Telecom, from operating in the U.S., again citing security concerns. If we didnt have these other trade issues with China, it would be easier to just accept the [Administrations] security statements as truth, Scott Wallsten, an economist and the president of the Technology Policy Institute, told me. But when it gets mixed up with all these other trade issues, it makes it a little more suspect.

In October, Trump signed a memorandum on Developing a Sustainable Spectrum Strategy for Americas Future. A few weeks later, the F.C.C. auctioned off new swaths of the electromagnetic radio spectrum. (There was another auction last month, with more scheduled for later this year.) Opening up new spectrum is crucial to achieving the super-fast speeds promised by 5G. Most American carriers are planning to migrate their services to a higher part of the spectrum, where the bands are big and broad and allow for colossal rivers of data to flow through them. (Some carriers are also working with lower-spectrum frequencies, where the speeds will not be as fast but likely more reliable.) Until recently, these high-frequency bands, which are called millimetre waves, were not available for Internet transmission, but advances in antenna technology have made it possible, at least in theory. In practice, millimetre waves are finicky: they can only travel short distancesabout a thousand feetand are impeded by walls, foliage, human bodies, and, apparently, rain.

To accommodate these limitations, 5G cellular relays will have to be installed inside buildings and on every city block, at least. Cell relays mounted on thirteen million utility poles, for example, will deliver 5G speeds to just over half of the American population, and cost around four hundred billion dollars to install. Rural communities will be out of lucktoo many trees, too few peopledespite the F.C.C.s recently announced Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. According to Blair Levin, a communications analyst and former F.C.C. chief of staff in the Clinton Administration, the fund has nothing to do with 5G. Rather, it will subsidize companies to lay fibre-optic cable that, minimally, will provide speeds forty times slower than what 5G promises.

Deploying millions of wireless relays so close to one another and, therefore, to our bodies has elicited its own concerns. Two years ago, a hundred and eighty scientists and doctors from thirty-six countries appealed to the European Union for a moratorium on 5G adoption until the effects of the expected increase in low-level radiation were studied. In February, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, took both the F.C.C. and F.D.A. to task for pushing ahead with 5G without assessing its health risks. Were kind of flying blind here, he concluded. A system built on millions of cell relays, antennas, and sensors also offers previously unthinkable surveillance potential. Telecom companies already sell location data to marketers, and law enforcement has used similar data to track protesters. 5G will catalogue exactly where someone has come from, where they are going, and what they are doing. To give one made-up example, Steve Bellovin, a computer-science professor at Columbia University, told the Wall Street Journal, might a pollution sensor detect cigarette smoke or vaping, while a Bluetooth receiver picks up the identities of nearby phones? Insurance companies might be interested. Paired with facial recognition and artificial intelligence, the data streams and location capabilities of 5G will make anonymity a historical artifact.

In China, which has installed three hundred and fifty thousand 5G relaysabout ten times more than the United Statesenhanced geolocation, coupled with an expansive network of surveillance cameras, each equipped with facial-recognition technology, has enabled authorities to track and subordinate the countrys eleven million Uighur Muslims. According to the Times, the practice makes China a pioneer in applying next-generation technology to watch its people, potentially ushering in a new era of automated racism.

The United States is not there yet, and may never be. But, as 5G begins to be rolled out, the pressure to capture and capitalize on new streams of data from individuals, businesses, and government will only grow more intense. Building safeguards into the system seems like an obvious and necessary goal. Spalding is now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and also advises corporations and other agencies on the cybersecurity threats posed by China. But, he warns, the danger is not limited to a single nation-state. What is existential to democracy is allowing totalitarian regimesor any governmentfull knowledge of everything you do at all times, he said. Because the tendency is always going to be to want to regulate how you think, how you act, what you do. The problem is that most people dont think very hard about what that world would look like.

Sue Halpern, a contributing writer covering politics and technology, has been writing for The New Yorker since 2005. She is the author, most recently, of the novel Summer Hours at the Robbers Library.Read more

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