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Proud Boys march in support of former President Trump in Washington, D.C, on Dec. 12. Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Canada's government has added the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, to its list of terrorist entities alongside al-Qaeda affiliates and ISIS, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced at a press conference Wednesday.

Why it matters: Canada is the first country in the world to designate the Proud Boys as a terrorist organization. U.S. law currently limits terrorist designations to "foreign" entities, but the Department of Homeland Security has warned that violent white supremacy is the "most persistent and lethal threat in the homeland."

The big picture: Members of the Proud Boys joined the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol in support of former President Trump, in an effort to obstruct the counting of Electoral College votes for President Biden.

  • Trump currently faces a charge of impeachment for allegedly inciting the siege on the Capitol, which his lawyers deny.
  • The former president famously declined to explicitly condemn the Proud Boys at a debate with Biden last September, saying instead that they should "stand back and stand by." He said two days later that he condemns them unequivocally.

What they're saying: “The group and its members have openly encouraged, planned, and conducted violent activities against those they perceive to be opposed to their ideology and political beliefs,” the Canadian government said in briefing materials, according to AP.

  • Blair stressed at a press conference that the decision was not a political one, but the result of research by the country's national security officials.
  • Blair said that Canada has "seen an escalation towards violence" from the Proud Boys since 2018 and over the past several months. He added that in the "aftermath of the U.S. presidential election," Canada has seen increased violence from a variety of extremist groups, including the Proud Boys.

Go deeper

Updated 51 mins ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Alabama's new congressional map rejected by federal judges

The Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Federal judges on Monday night blocked Alabama's newly drawn congressional map and ordered the Republican-led State Legislature to create a new one that includes two districts, rather than the planned one.

Why it matters: "Black voters have less opportunity than other Alabamians to elect candidates of their choice to Congress," the panel of three judges wrote in their ruling.

Australian Open organizers reverse "Where is Peng Shuai?" t-shirt ban

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai during the 2020 Australian Open in Melbourne. Photo: Bai Xue/Xinhua via Getty Images

Australian Open organizers on Tuesday reversed a ban on t-shirts supporting Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai following widespread criticism.

Why it matters: Tennis Australia's announcement came less than 24 hours after the governing body defended the decision to ask fans last Friday to remove "Where is Peng Shuai?" t-shirts, citing ticket policy prohibiting political clothing, per the BBC.