Texas Power Outage Leaves 4 Million in the Dark 

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Frozen natural gas pipelines, wind turbines, and dramatic increases in electricity demand for heating finally brought the Texan power grid to collapse on 15 February. Texas and Northern Mexico have been under the effects of a polar vortex, bringing snowstorms and temperatures as low as -20℃. A state of emergency has been declared as more than 4.4 million in Texas, and 4.7 million across the border in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, are experiencing days-long power outages. [NPR] [By KEVIN WANG] 

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2 Tech Giants React to New Australian Media Law

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As a landmark piece of tech legislation makes its way through the Australian Parliament, Google and Facebook both made their moves. The law, if passed, would require tech companies to compensate news outlets for displaying their content. On 15 February, Google announced that Seven West Media and dozens of other Australian journalism companies have signed on to its News Showcase program, with Google paying them for the use of their content. In contrast, Facebook shut down news feeds for Australian users on 17 February, protesting the media bill. [GUARDIAN] [By KEVIN WANG]

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1/3 of the U.S. Military Refuses COVID Vaccine

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Pentagon officials say that approximately one third of the U.S. military is refusing to receive the COVID vaccine, despite numbers being on the rise. Generally, standard vaccines have been made mandatory to military personnel. However, the COVID vaccine being only approved considering the state of emergency, the Pentagon is unable to force people to get dosed. This being said, up till now, there have already been more than 900,000 vaccines administered to the military. [CTV][By Iris Ma]

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Canada, with 17 troops in Iraq, expected to face pressure to send more troops

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The current NATO mission, launched in 2018, involved around 500 troops with the aim of building up Iraq’s military so it could better combat extremist groups like ISIL with Canada contributing 200 troops. Only 17 Canadian troops are now working with it, command of which was passed to Denmark in the fall. As the NATO military alliance prepares to spread its presence in Iran, Canada is expected to face pressure to reverse a recent withdrawal of troops from the country. Canada’s Defense Minister will be in discussions with other defense ministers from across the alliance, and it is predicted that they will approve the deployment of more trainers and advisers to help Iraqi security forces fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. They will also talk about Afghanistan, and the threats posed by China and Russia. [CTV][By Emily Ma]

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$1.8 billion satellite project in Quebec expected to create 600 jobs

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MDA and Telesat, two Ontario-based companies, plan to expand their operations in Quebec as part of a major satellite project. Their agreement with the Quebec government is valued at one point eight billion dollars, with four hundred fifty million dollars in the form of grants and loans. This agreement will also create up to six hundred jobs, each paying an average of one hundred thousand dollars a year. The deal will involve MDA building antennas for Telesat at its manufacturing facility in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, in Montreal’s West Island. Telesat will set up a network operating centre in Gatineau. [GlobalNews][By Emily Ma]