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In The News for April 13: Which Canadian bank was 2022's biggest fossil fuel backer?

Marchers with signs during a protest against the Royal Bank of Canada’s Annual General Meeting at the Delta Bessborough hotel in Saskatoon, Sask., Wednesday, April 5, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Thursday, April 13, 2023 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

A report from a coalition of environmental groups shows that Royal Bank of Canada was the biggest fossil fuel financier in the world last year after providing over US$42 billion in funding. 

The annual Banking on Climate Chaos report shows the bank's funding between 2016 and 2021 put it as the fifth-largest fossil fuel funder but 2022 was the first year it provided the most money. 

According to the data, Scotiabank ranked ninth globally last year with US$29.5 billion in funding and TD was just behind it at about US$29 billion, while Bank of Montreal ranked 15th and CIBC 16th at US$19.3 billion and US$17.9 billion respectively. 

At RBC's annual shareholder meeting last week, chief executive Dave McKay emphasized the importance of energy security and an orderly transition away from fossil fuel funding as he defended the bank's funding and climate record. 

Environmental advocates have been pushing banks to phase out fossil fuel funding as a way to make it harder to build new oil and gas projects and to accelerate the transition to net zero emissions. 


Also this ...

An independent expert panel is set to release recommendations to reform the Thunder Bay Police Service and the board overseeing it, following calls for more Indigenous representation in top positions.  

The panel appointed by the Thunder Bay Police Services Board last year to assess the culture of both the force and board will release its final report today after consultations with community and police service members.

The report will be the latest in a series of reviews that scrutinized policing in the northern Ontario city, including some that have found evidence of systemic racism in how it handles cases involving Indigenous people.

The panel has called for more Indigenous leadership within the police and board in an interim report that was released in September. 

Veteran RCMP officer Darcy Fleury, a member of the Red River Métis, was appointed last month as the city’s new chief of police after Thunder Bay's former police chief retired in January while under suspension.


What we are watching in the U.S. ...

A U-S federal appeals court has preserved access to an abortion drug for now but under tighter rules that would allow the drug only to be dispensed up to seven weeks, not 10, and not by mail.

The drug, mifepristone, was approved for use by the Food and Drug
Administration more than two decades ago. It's used in combination
with a second drug, misoprostol. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals in New Orleans ruled Wednesday just before midnight and the
case may now be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

By a 2-1 vote a panel of three judges narrowed, for now, a decision
by a lower court judge in Texas that had completely blocked the
FDA's approval of the drug following a lawsuit by mifepristone's

Either side, or both, could take the appeals court's action to the Supreme Court. 

Opponents of the drug could seek to keep the full lower court ruling in effect. The Biden administration, meanwhile, could ask the high court to allow all the FDA changes to remain in place while the case continues to play out.


What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

Germany's government appealed for efforts to reduce tension over Taiwan as the German foreign minister flew to China for official talks following Chinese military exercises near the self-ruled island democracy Beijing claims is part of its territory.

Annalena Baerbock was due to arrive Thursday. Her ministry said she would discuss Taiwan, Ukraine, human rights and other issues with Chinese officials.

China's ruling Communist Party sent warships and fighter planes near Taiwan last weekend in retaliation for a meeting between U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the island's president, Tsai Ing-wen.

“Threatening military gestures” increase “the risk of unintentional military confrontations,” a spokeswoman for Baerbock’s ministry, Andrea Sasse, said in Berlin.

“We, therefore, call on all partners in the region and are working also with our international partners to contribute to a de-escalation in the strait of Taiwan," Sasse said Wednesday.

Taiwan split with China in 1949 after a civil war. The Communist Party says the island is obligated to rejoin the mainland, by force if necessary.

European governments are increasingly worried about Chinese pressure on Taiwan, a global high-tech center and one of the biggest trading economies.


On this day in 1995 ...

The CBC cancelled "Front Page Challenge." The current events game show had been an institution on Canadian television since 1957.


In entertainment ...

What used to be known as the streaming service H-B-O Max is now going to be just Max – but it will include programming from Warner Brothers Discovery. 

Max will replace H-B-O Max as of May 23rd. 

The programming featured on Discovery Plus streaming will be available on Max, but Discovery Plus will still be offered. The new service will include H-B-O originals, Warner Brothers films like “Casablanca,” the D-C universe and programs from H-G-T-V, Food Network, T-L-C and the Discovery Channel. Warner Brothers Discover C-E-O David Zaslav is hinting that live news and sports may be available by the end of the year. 

It’s a move by the parent companies that were involved in a corporate deal last year.


Did you see this?

Police in Alberta's largest city are turning to a global blockchain data platform to help combat cryptocurrency crimes. 

Calgary police announced a partnership Wednesday with Chainalysis, a U.S.-based company that provides data, software and research services to government agencies, financial institutions, cybersecurity companies and now law enforcement. 

The result is the creation of the Western Canada Cryptocurrency Investigations Centre, which is to serve as a hub for police and the private sector to learn about emerging cryptocurrency and cybercrime trends. 

Calgary police are also creating a new unit dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain-related investigations. 

Police Chief Mark Neufeld said fighting cybercrime requires collaboration between law enforcement and other expert industries.

He said officers want to be able to support someone who loses cryptocurrency the same way they would help a senior who was robbed after taking money out of a bank machine. 


This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2023

The Canadian Press

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