Canadian Ambassador to China backtracks on comments

Canada’s ambassador to China says he “misspoke” when he suggested a detained Huawei executive had a strong case to avoid extradition to the United States.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, John McCallum says “Canada is conducting a fair, unbiased, and transparent legal proceeding with respect to Meng Wanzhou.” He adds that “As the government has consistently made clear, there has been no political involvement in this process.”

Canada finalizes deal on wireless technology

Federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains has finalized a deal with Finnish telecom giant Nokia in Switzerland where he’s participating in the World Economic Forum.

Nokia is going to conduct research on 5-G wireless technology, which will give Canadians much faster connections and provide powerful data capacity. The government is expected to sell the deal as a way to support more than two-thousand Nokia jobs already in Canada and to create 237 new positions.

Pilot program launching to attract new Canadians to rural areas

With rural and northern communities struggling with labour shortages and population decline, Ottawa is launching a pilot program to draw new Canadians to those areas.

The vast majority of immigrants to Canada settle in bigger cities, but municipal leaders in smaller towns and communities have been calling on Ottawa to do more to help them attract newcomers. The program would bring about 100 newcomers and their family members to each eligible community, which will have to prove they can welcome and integrate them.

Russia supporting embattled Venezuelan President

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to offer his support after the country’s opposition leader declared himself interim president Wednesday.

The Kremlin says Putin called for peaceful dialogue to overcome differences in Venezuelan society after Juan Guiado said his declaration made Wednesday was the only way to end what he calls the dictatorship of Maduro. Canada, the U.S. and about a dozen other countries have thrown their support behind Guiado.

Doomsday clock staying close to midnight

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is keeping the hands of its Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight, matching the closest it has ever been to the apocalypse since the days of the Cold War.

The panel points to a cooling of U.S. relations with Russia and the U.S. backing out of the Iran Nuclear deal as reasons for its decision. The group’s chairman, Dr. Robert Rosner, says they are calling this the new abnormal, a disturbing reality in which things are not getting better.