America

What an American Needs to Know When Traveling to Canada

People often confuse Canada to be a state in the northern part of America. For those people, let us tell you, Canada is an entire country that shares its borders with America.

One of the main reasons behind these misconceptions is that Canada’s culture often resonates with that of America. Then again, Canada is a hub of tourist spots and beautiful places you need to visit. You can get to know more about the visa application process to Canada at visa-canada.info.

If you are an American and are planning to visit Canada for the first time, follow this article to know the basic things you need to know before you set out on your expedition.

1. You need a passport

Source:citynews1130.com

Back in the day, the Americans did not need to have a passport to travel to Canada. The relations between the two countries have been amazing since the very beginning, and hence neither visa nor passport was needed. However, with some unwanted incidents in the U.S., the government changed the traveling laws.

Now, all U.S. citizens must necessarily possess a passport to travel here, and they will also have to deal with the immigrations and customs upon arriving in the country.

You will also be needed to explain why you visit the country, whether you are there as a tourist or a businessman. This is something everyone needs to answer.

After they find your answers to be satisfactory, you will be allowed to collect your bag, and after showing your custom forms, you are allowed to leave.

2. The U.S. Dollar is strong right now

The American Dollar has a higher value than the Canadian Dollar. 1 USD translates to 1.26 CAD, or in other words, 1 CAD translates to 0.77 USD. That means that you will get an instant discount of at least twenty percent wherever you shop from.

3. You can find extinct stores here

Canada has a hoard of stores like the Old Navy, Bombay, etc. All these brands have gone out of business and have become extinct for the rest of the world. However, these stores continue to hold their existence in this country.

Also, Winners and HomeSense is the Canadian version of the famous store Marshalls and HomeGoods.

During your trip to this country, you can buy a variety of attractive items here like beautiful Canadian paintings, delicious food, fine wine, whiskey, sculptures, and textiles. Some of the popular Canadian shoppable items include blankets in Hudson’s Bay, prints by Canadian artists in Quebec, British Columbian jade products, handmade carpets in Nova Scotia, and more.

If you are fond of wine, then Niagara is the best place to buy it from. Apart from this, you can also visit the Niagara Waterfall. Quebec is a great destination for maple syrup and maple sugar.

4. They use the metric system

While almost the rest of the world measures distances in miles, Canada measures distance in kilometers and meters. The centimeter is used for snow forecasts. Also, the temperature is measured in Celsius.

5. Paying the bill at a restaurant is different

The words used in this country are much different than the ones used in America. However, both of them have the same meaning. For example, in Canada, the check is known as the bill. So, if the cashier hands you out your “bill,” do not get confused, that’s just your regular check. Generally, the waiter brings the bill to your table, and you can pay via your credit cards. And by different, I mean better. First of all, it is the bill and not the check. Swipe your credit card, add a small tip, and then get your printed receipt with a ‘paid’ mark. The entire process is smooth with the chance of any fraudulent activities

6. The term Canada means village

Source:sgtalk.org

The country of Canada derives its name from the word Kanata, which means the village. Whereas, in terms of area, this country is so huge that countries like France, Japan, Italy, Cambodia, Germany, Cameroon, South Korea, England, and Uruguay can coexist.

Credit for locating the country goes to the French and the British who discovered it during the 15th century. Its history tells us that the British defeated the French after seven years of war. During 1949, Canada was constituted by Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Labrador. All of them were recognized as British provinces.

But in 1982, the control of the British Parliament was removed from Canada, and the influence of Aboriginal, British, French culture and recent immigration customs led to the emergence of Canadian art, culture, and traditions.

7. The Apology Act

Source:wikiwand.com

An ‘Apology Act‘ has been made in Canada. If someone hurts someone or hurts them, they can go to the courtroom and give written apologies and damages. The assumption here is that ‘free the mind, don’t live in any guilt.’

8. Customs and Traditions

Canada follows its customs with great courtesy. Clothing is worn according to the weather in Canada. Apart from this, all rules of general etiquette in Canada are followed within the scope of the law.

People here are extremely polite, and they do not even switch on their smartphones in movie theaters. They tip the barber, bellboy, taxi driver, etc. fifteen to twenty percent of their billed amounts.

9. Nightlife in Canada

Source:dailyhive.com

Do not forget to enjoy Canadian nightlife. Dance clubs, pubs, or casinos in Canada will make your night colorful. You can enjoy the nightlife in major Canadian cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Johns, Vancouver, Ottawa St, and Halifax.

The nightlife in Canada is colorful, which is the perfect destination for all-night parties, dancing, etc. There are fun places like spectacular theaters, pub-crawling or club-hopping, etc.

Final Words:

Canada is a hub of culture and traditions. People here are super friendly and with so many tourist places to visit, you should consider visiting Canada. And once you have made your decision, know these facts about the country before travelling there.

USA in Wake of Its Second September 11

Jerome Adams, Surgeon General of the United States has stated that the next week will be the most difficult and devastating for the U.S. amidst the coronavirus outbreak which is currently spreading like wildfire.

Also read: Boris Johnson in an Intensive Care

Source:businessinsider.com

He claims that it is going to be a big blow for Americans like the Pearl Harbor or the Twin Tower attacks, except that it isn’t going to happen at just one spot. He added that we are still able to change the course of the pandemic and that there’s still hope of avoiding the worst outcome if people oblige the advice given by experts and stay indoors.

Source:latimes.com

He expressed his hope for the Americans to realize that this scenario is preventable if they do their part in this fight by staying at home. He also approved of the decision that each American state should have its own legislation regarding the state of lockdown because state-wide regulations have a greater impact effect.

Is America doing enough to protect itself from cyber-attacks?

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The political world is an ever-evolving beast that can see new threats or issues crop up regularly. Within the politics of any one country, foreign affairs is always an area in which this is felt keenly. This is especially true for a superpower such as America, which has allies to foster close links with around the globe but also enemies.

It is the enemies that naturally take up the most column inches in the media and also the most time within the White House. As these can represent an actual threat to America in both physical and economic terms, the foreign secretary will spend a lot of time outlining policy for these nations with the president. One big threat that America is certainly having to factor in here is cyber-attacks. This is becoming an increasingly popular way for countries hostile to the US to try to breach its defenses and cause it harm.

Russia and US relations key

To say that relations between the US and Russia have been shaky for a long time now is somewhat of an understatement. Although the period after the Cold War ended seemed to bring both nations closer, this has now been reversed under Vladimir Putin.

Img Source: oilfiredup.com

Russia now is well-known for using cyber-attacks on other nations, and the US is reported as one victim of this tactic. During the 2018 midterm elections, for example, US sources revealed that internet access had been denied to a Russian company called the Internet Research Agency. This was the same company that had been suspected of committing a cybercrime against the US in the 2016 presidential election.

This situation shows just how common cyber-attacks are becoming as a tool that other nations will use against America. It is in many ways a simple update of the Cold War for the 21st century but with no physical agents having to be risked. Many believe that one way of combating this is to involve more foreign policy experts on Russia to help. Angela Stent is one well-respected expert on Russian-American relations and someone who many believe could provide the advice needed. By involving people like her, America could well head off any future Russian cyber-attacks and have more knowledge on how relations could be improved between the two.

Img Source: brookings.edu

Cyber-attacks from Russia, not the only issue

Russia is not the only nation that is beginning to use cybercrime against nations such as the US to get the sensitive information it wants. China is also very active in this area and is another nation that America needs to be very careful of in terms of protecting its IT infrastructure. Of course, the burning question for many Americans is whether the US is doing enough to stop Russian and Chinese cybercrime.

Img Source: economist.com

More urgency needed from policymakers

While steps are being taken to deal with cyber-attacks on American networks and systems, many feel that the policymakers in Government are being too slow to react. As the cybercrimes that are being targeted against the US become ever more sophisticated, many fear that not enough is being done now by those in power to head them off. It would seem that the US could be doing more in terms of the policy to fight this kind of crime from outside its borders. It is apparent that nations such as Russia have made cyber warfare a key tenant of their foreign policy – maybe America should make cyber-defense a key part of theirs?

More vigilance is needed

Many people involved in this area also feel that America is not showing enough vigilance around cyber-attacks. This is not only in terms of government policy but also how the average citizen feels around cyber-attacks from external nations. The potential that these have to impact negatively on everyday life is immense and something that does not seem to be on a lot of people’s agendas. Many cyber experts feel that more awareness should be raised of how critical this issue is, and people should start to be much more vigilant around cyber-attacks in their workplace or home.

Img Source: forbes.com

Could more resources be put into fighting cyber-attacks?

When it comes down to staying safe from cyber-attacks on American systems or businesses, a lot comes down to resources. If the American Government is serious about stopping this kind of threat, then it must put more resources into training people to fight it online and developing more robust systems to protect the US IT infrastructure. By doing this, it will give the cyber-defense sector in the US the money and people it needs to properly see off any external threat.

America could step it up

Since the scandal around the 2016 US presidential election, cyber-attacks have certainly been higher on people’s agendas in Washington. The main question is whether it is high enough and enough is being done to really keep America safe into the future. While there have been steps made towards this, many believe that more could be done to keep the US safe from digital attacks.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Presents Europe With Demands For New Iran Deal

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The US left the Iran deal, but other parties involved are still trying to honor it. Tehran presented a new agreement to the European countries, and the new deal ‘undercuts’ America in every possible way.

Despite The US leaving Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), EU countries decided to try and save it in cooperation with the Middle East country. But, now it’s the Iran who sets the conditions in order to stay in the deal. These terms were presented yesterday by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

According to IRNA news agency close to the state, Khamenei said: “During the last two years, the US violated the JCPOA several times, and Europe remained silent. Europe must compensate for that silence.”

Some of the most notable conditions include demands that Europe protects Iran from US sanctions, that EU works on retaining and improving Iran oil sales, and that the banks of Old Continent remain a guarantee of financial cooperation with this Middle East country.

Source: www1.cbn.com

Other things named in the new agreement are related to Iran’s ballistic missile program. The new deal prohibits Germany, France, and the UK from negotiating about this subject with the US, and that they should not influence the manner in which will Iran implement activities in neighboring countries. In past America always had issues with Tehran’s involvement and military actions in Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen.

Talking about Iran’s actions in the region Khamenei said: “We have no conflicts with regard to these three countries; but we do not trust them, based on previous experience.”

Other world powers that have signed Iran deal are China and Russia, but they have no demands at the moment. This might change in the future as Iran’s supreme leader noted that if the requests are not fulfilled his country will immediately continue with its nuclear program. During the same statement he threatened: “When we see that the JCPOA was useless, one way forward is to restart those halted activities.”

Source: realiran.org

Khamenei was very vocal in his addressing claiming that the United States failed to show “loyalty to its commitments,” while trying to overthrow his country in the process. His message for Donald Trump was particularly harsh: “The current US president will have no better fate than that of his predecessors… he will be lost in history.”

These statements from Iranian supreme leader come only days after Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State presented the world with the US conditions for a new pact with Iran. The US-created deal has terms that demand Iran to withdraw its forces from Syria and that they stop sending aid to Houthi rebels in Yemen. If these conditions are not met, Pompeo threatened Iran with the pressure of ‘unprecedented’ magnitude. Pompeo said: “The sting of sanctions will be painful if the regime does not change its course.”

After leaving the Iran deal, the US is planning to put sanctions on both Iran and the countries that decide to cooperate with this Middle East state. The set of measures will be even harsher than those that were lifted in 2015 when the deal was signed. This puts Europe in a tough position having to choose between working with the US or Iran.

Source: www.businessinsider.com

Donald Trump Plans To Impose New Tariffs On Imported Cars

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President Donald Trump plans to impose a new set of measures that should protect domestic automakers. On Wednesday, Mr. President met with Wilbur Ross, who is Commerce Secretary and suggest him to conduct an investigation that should result in higher tariffs on imported vehicles and car parts.

An investigation, similar to the one Trump is proposing now, was launched last year in a different sector. The results were a 25% higher tariff on imported steel, and 10% higher on imported aluminum. As a consequence, the US is renegotiating taxes with countries that export these materials, and these tariffs are suspended for now, until talks are completed.

In a statement released yesterday, Donald Trump repeated that domestic car-industry is “critical to our strength as a nation.” According to a law from the 1960s, the president has the authority to impose tariffs and various other protective measures in industries that are crucial for national security.

Source: www.npr.org

POTUS hinted at the incoming changes in one of his tweets by saying: “There will be big news coming soon for our great American Autoworkers. After many decades of losing your jobs to other countries, you have waited long enough!”

The investigation that resulted in steel and aluminum tariffs lasted more than a year, so the changes in auto-industry are still at least months away. Also, there is a possibility that Trump is using taxes as leverage in the discussions with Japan, Mexico, Canada, and the European Union regarding the new trade agreements. During his campaign and reign as president, he frequently stated that the US has lower tariffs on imported vehicles than any other world country.

While these changes might be welcomed by some, the situation in auto-industry is different from that in steel and aluminum sectors. While the latter one was infected by foreign competition, the car industry has been faring quite well in comparison to outside competitors. During the 2017 General Motors was the best selling brand in the US, while Ford held position No3. Unlike in steel/aluminum industry, foreign carmakers such as Honda and Toyota have their factories on the US ground.

Source: www.npr.org

The U.S. Is Working on June 12th Meeting Despite North Korean Threats

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Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, stated on Tuesday that the US Administration is dealing with preparation for the upcoming meeting between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In recent days there were threats from NK that they would withdraw from the summit.

Talking about the June 12th event, Pompeo said: “We are continuing to prepare both our team and the White House so that, in the event that the summit takes place on June 12, we are fully prepared with the mission statement having not changed at all. We are committed to achieving denuclearization and creating conditions such that the North Korean regime no longer threatens the world.”

These statements come as a response to the news that the chances are high that North Korea will walk out on the meeting. But, regardless of their claims, State Department is continuing with the preparations as the conference is going to happen as it’s scheduled.

Source: thehill.com

In recent weeks North Korea had a U-turn in their foreign policy. The country that was isolated for decades said that it will cease its nuclear program and that president Kim is willing to negotiate the terms with the US president Donald Trump. As a sign of goodwill, NK released three US prisoners that were captivated in the north part of the Korean peninsula.

The 12th June summit was jeopardized when North Korea canceled scheduled meetings with their Southern counterparts because SK army conducted joint exercises with the US military stationed on their territory. NK officials claim that they will withdraw from the summit if Trump continues to insist on “unilateral nuclear abandonment.”

According to New York Times, Donald Trump has been consulting his allies whether he should meet with Kim because he has concerns that the meeting could be politically embarrassing. On the other hand, sources close to Seoul claim that the US-NK meeting will happen as planned and that chances of it happening are 99.9%.

Chung Eui-Yong, the national security adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-In, stated: “We believe there is a 99.9 percent chance the North Korea–U.S. summit will be held as scheduled. But we’re just preparing for many different possibilities.”

Source: thehill.com

The Main Threat For The US In The Middle East Is Not Iran; It’s Russia!

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The news that the US left the Iran deal was felt around the world like an earthquake. It brought out many questions, with one of them being will the Israel and Iran start an all-out war? The move is considered a catastrophe from the stance of foreign policy, and now the US must deal with the threat that Russia could further expand its influence in the Middle East.

Donald Trump’s decision to leave the agreement is similar to what Britain did with EU exit. It is a decision that affects the entire world. Like we said, Iran and Israel are closer to war with every passing day. This conflict could change the present and the future of the entire region, and not for the better.

The most significant change that occurred, and that is something Trump’s administration won’t admit, is that the US is no longer the most influential player in the Middle East; It’s Russia! With recent development, Moscow increased their authority in this region.

Of course, we all know there’s something more to this country than just matryoshka nestingdolls and vodka. Russia is one of the most powerful countries in the world. You would expect them to have at least a little influence on everything that goes on in this planet.

America is focused solely on the Iran deal, which can already be considered a dead agreement, missing their primary conflict. It’s not with Iran or with the Middle East as a region; it is with Russia. If the US doesn’t start dealing with this threat, it will lose much more than with cancelation of the deal, and it will be a catastrophe for the foreign policy.

Source: www.newsweek.com

At this moment the conflict between Israel and Iran seems inevitable. Israeli doesn’t want Iranian troops in Syria, while this is exactly what Iran wants in order to be the regions most powerful country. The smaller fights already started, the moment the US left the Iran deal.

Because of this development, America’s influence in the Middle East dropped in favor of Moscow. At the moment Putin has more control over this region than Trump. It can be seen through their actions when tensions in this region started to escalate. When Israeli F-16 fighter was shot down over Syria, Russia was the one who told them to calm down. The same happened when Iran lost seven soldiers to Israel attacks. Moscow was the one who told Israel to cease air strikes on Syria and one who calmed down Netanyahu when Iran became aggressive after the US left the nuclear deal. Russia is the central player in the Middle East, even if the US doesn’t want to admit it.

It will not come as a surprise if Israel accepts Russian aid in dealing with Iran. Yes, Tehran and Moscow are allies, but if what all parties involved want is peace, Russia can help them; the US no longer has this power. Many believe that Israeli/American ties are too deep to be cut off by Kremlin. But, Israel/Russia bond is equally deep. Just remember back in the 1990s more than 1 million Jews went from Russia to Israel. This was 20% of their population back in the day.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com

The second language in Israel is not English; it’s Russian! You have airlines flights from Israel to Moscow twice a day, and Netanyahu started spending more time with Putin than he is with Trump. Also, the rift between Israeli and American Jews is becoming more profound. For example, Natalie Portman decided to boycott 2018 Genesis Prize which is also known as Jewish Nobel Prize after showing support to Palestinians and criticizing the way they are treated by Israel. She is only one person in a see of people who share her sentiment.

The US leaving the Iran deal hasn’t only made Tehran its enemy once again, it brought out Russia as their biggest threat. Moscow is steadily becoming a leading player on the world’s battleground while Washington stands and does nothing.

Source: www.jpost.com

What America needs to do is to lower the Russian influence in the region. What they should do is not another Cold War, but more of collecting back its allies one by one, starting with Turkey. The next in line should be Egypt and Lebanon. They should broaden their influence similarly to what Kremlin is doing right now. The US needs to regain its role as the peacemaker in the Middle East. The part that Moscow is playing at the moment, and they are doing it with a long-lasting American friend, Israel.

Instead of destroying its foreign policy, the US should do that to Russia. They must gather their allies and make a push of decreasing Kremlin influence by making them deal with internal affairs. This shouldn’t be hard to do considering the levels of corruption, and lack of human rights that exist in both Russia and their puppet states from where they are pulling all of their influence.

Source: www.cnbc.com

Donald Trump Imposes New Set Of Sanctions On Venezuela

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Donald Trump’s reign as the United States president will be remembered for his habit of imposing sanctions on foreign countries. On Monday POTUS placed new sanctions on Venezuela. This move comes only one day after Nicolas Maduro won Venezuelan elections. The new president was trying to sell governments debt in order to increase his personal wealth, and his election is being called a ‘sham’ by the US government.

President Trump signed a new order which prevents American companies from buying debt from Venezuela. The sanctions are so harsh that US companies are not allowed to buy off debt from Petróleos de Venezuela which is an oil company owned by the Venezuelan government.

The new set of measures imposed by Trump have a goal of preventing further enrichment of Maduro and his top brass executives who, according to Trump administration, were using public funds for their gain for years and have plans to continue with similar actions.

Source: nytimes.com

In recent months Venezuela underwent economic collapse which led to a massive exodus of its citizens, humanitarian crisis, food shortages, prices inflation, a broken-down health system and a rash of crime.

According to the United States vice president Mike Pence, the elections in which Maduro won his second term were fixed, and that his government is nothing else but a dictatorship. These claims come after Maduro refused to allow an intake of humanitarian aid into the country.

In an official statement, Mr. Pence said: “The illegitimate result of this fake process is a further blow to the proud democratic tradition of Venezuela. The United States will not sit idly by as Venezuela crumbles, and the misery of their brave people continues.”

Source: www.politico.com

One of the government officials in Venezuela, who wanted to stay anonymous claims that election process was nothing but a scam. He claims that Maduro fixed the elections by manipulating National Electoral Council and the members of the media; by threatening leaders of opposition; and by selectively giving out food and money to his hungry compatriots in order for them to vote for him. The same official said that Maduro had tents set up near the voting locations where people could get food and money if they provide him with proof that they voted for him.

This set of sanctions is the third one imposed by Donald Trump and all in attempt to stop Maduro and his government from using the public funds for their benefit in the already money-strapped country. For long periods of time Maduro and his subordinates have been selling government entities for petty pennies and under the market value. They would keep the money for themselves while the country remains in shambles with shortages of money, food, and other things essential for normal life.

While sanctions are harsh, they don’t hit oil sector directly because this move would make Venezuelan people even poorer and would affect US companies dealing in this sector. The oil trade remains on the table for both Venezuela and US companies.

Source: www.nytimes.com