Canada Monitoring ‘Potential Second Incident’ Linked to Suspected Chinese Spy Balloon Flagged by US

Canada announced on Thursday it is coordinating with the United States to track a spy balloon high above the earth and that it was also monitoring a “potential second incident.”
Canada’s Department of National Defence announced that the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)—a combined organization of the United States and Canada—is actively tracking a “high-altitude surveillance balloon.” The announcement reiterated what the Pentagon announced earlier on Thursday.
The statement went on to say: “Canadians are safe and Canada is taking steps to ensure the security of its airspace, including the monitoring of a potential second incident.
“NORAD, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Department of National Defence, and other partners have been assessing the situation and working in close coordination,” it added….

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Hawaii Whale Dies With Fishing Nets, Plastic Bags in Stomach

HONOLULU—A whale that washed ashore in Hawaii over the weekend likely died in part because it ate large volumes of fishing traps, fishing nets, plastic bags, and other marine debris, scientists said Thursday, highlighting the threat to wildlife from the millions of tons of plastic that ends up in oceans every year.
The body of the 56-foot long, 120,000-pound animal was first noticed on a reef off Kauai on Friday. High tide brought it ashore on Saturday.
An excavator makes numerous attempts to free a whale from the shoreline and move it onto Lydgate Beach in Kauai County, Hawaii, on Jan. 28, 2023. (Daniel Dennison/Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources via AP)
Kristi West, the director of the University of Hawaii’s Health and Stranding Lab, said there were enough foreign objects in the opening of the whale’s intestinal tract to block food….

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Shen Yun ‘Provoked an Elevation of Spirituality,’ Says Professor

MONTREAL—Modern communication devices allow us to talk and look up anything we want with ease but when was the last time we saw something so beautiful that it spoke to our soul? Diane Laroche, a professor at Université TÉLUQ, shared that seeing Shen Yun was moved her deeply.
“The performance provoked an elevation of spirituality, of the soul. It touches the soul, so it is excellent!” said Ms. Laroche.
Shen Yun is based in New York and its artists are dedicated to bringing true beauty to the stage. Shen Yun’s artists not only require themselves to excel in their art, but also to remain pure and good at heart….

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Outlawed Motorcycle Gangs to Be Refused Firearms Under Aussie State’s Proposed Gun Laws

Outlawed motorcycle gangs may need to use other means to showcase their criminal misdemeanour and villainous prowess—at least in the Australian State of Tasmania—as the state government seeks to amend its laws on gun ownership and usage.
In a Feb. 1 statement, Tasmania’s Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Felix Ellis, said criminal activity and gun violence were the key focus of these reforms, which is currently open for community consultation until March 17.
“Through these amendments, we are making it clear to the Tasmanian community that people who use firearms to threaten community safety will be penalised and prosecuted under our laws,” Ellis said….

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North Korea Warns of ‘Overwhelming Nuclear Force’ to Counter US

SEOUL, South Korea—North Korea said Thursday it’s prepared to counter U.S. military moves with the “most overwhelming nuclear force” as it warned that the expansion of the United States’ military exercises with rival South Korea is pushing tensions to an “extreme red line.”
The statement by Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry came in response to comments by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who said Tuesday in Seoul that the United States would increase its deployment of advanced military assets to the Korean Peninsula, including fighter jets and aircraft carriers, as it strengthens joint training and operational planning with South Korea….

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Corporate Lawsuit Dodge Imperiled After Court Rejects J&J Bankruptcy Tactic

Attorney Greg Gordon, a partner at the Jones Day law firm, offered an innovative solution to Johnson & Johnson and other major companies that faced mountains of lawsuits alleging their products sickened or killed people: They could use the bankruptcy system to force all plaintiffs into one settlement.
It required fancy legal footwork—creating a subsidiary to shoulder all the liability, then putting that new company into Chapter 11.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers attacked the gambit, known as the “Texas two-step,” charging it amounted to a bad-faith bankruptcy filing and a fraudulent ploy to shield the parent companies’ assets. Not so, Gordon told judges overseeing bankruptcies testing the novel strategy. The parent firms, he said, would give these subsidiaries plenty of money—billions of dollars—to compensate plaintiffs….

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Ferrari Vows ‘Even Stronger’ 2023 With More New Models

MILAN—A procession of new models will continue to boost earnings at Ferrari, the Italian luxury sports car maker said on Thursday, as it promised “even stronger” results this year after a 16 percent jump in 2022 core earnings.
Deliveries jumped almost a fifth to 13,221 cars last year, led by the established Ferrari Portofino M and the SF90 family models, as well as the 296 GTB and 812 Competizione. China saw the strongest growth, with shipments jumping 73 percent to 1,552 cars.
Ferrari said it would launch four models this year, adding to the new 390,000 euro ($428,000) Purosangue four-seater which will start being delivered to customers in the second quarter….

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Romanian Court Rejects Andrew Tate’s Appeal Against Detention

BUCHAREST—Internet personality Andrew Tate will remain in police custody until Feb. 27 after a Bucharest court rejected his appeal against his detention on Wednesday.
Tate, his brother Tristan, and two Romanian female suspects have been in police custody since Dec. 29 pending a criminal investigation into alleged human trafficking and rape and charges of forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women. They have denied the accusations.
Their detention was extended until the end of this month on Jan. 20. On Wednesday a Bucharest court upheld the decision and rejected Tate’s appeal. Prosecutors can ask Romanian courts to extend the suspects’ detention for up to 180 days….

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Tanker Breaks Down in Suez Canal, but Traffic Not Disrupted

CAIRO—A tanker transporting liquefied natural gas broke down in the Suez Canal on Wednesday but traffic in the global waterway was unaffected, a canal spokesperson said.
The Bahamas-flagged Grace Emilia suffered a malfunction of its rudder and tugboats pulled it to the side of the canal to allow other vessels to pass, said George Safwat, a spokesperson for Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority.
He told The Associated Press that the north-bound tanker stopped working in the southern part of the canal, where a two-lane waterway enables ships to transit.
Canal services provider Leth Agencies reported the incident in a Twitter post, saying vessels “can pass in both directions.”…

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Zara Starts Charging for Clothing Returns From Home in Spain

MADRID—Fashion giant Zara has started charging shoppers in Spain for returns of online purchases, the company announced on Wednesday, though store returns remain free.
Customers now have to pay 1.95 euros ($2.13) if they wish to return pieces from home, with the cost deducted from their refund, Zara said on its Spanish website.
However, items bought online can still be returned for free at physical stores, it added.
As the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a boom in online shopping, customers became used to buying items to try at home since returns were often free, which raised costs for retailers.
Inditex, which owns Zara, will also introduce return charges in Spain for its other brands such as Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear….

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