Dec 19, 2019

Canadian Supreme Court rules son of Russian spies entitled to citizenship

Canadian Supreme Court. Photo: Richard Lautens/Getty Images

The Canadian Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of Alexander Vavilov, the Toronto-born son of two Russian spies, and said he has the right to Canadian citizenship, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Vavilov's parents, Andrey Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova, worked for a Russian spy agency, and were arrested in the United States in 2010, per the Post. Their family's story inspired the FX series "The Americans."

  • Bezrukov and Vavilova were carrying out "deep-cover" assignments for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service after the Cold War in the U.S., the Post writes.
  • They stole the identities of two Canadians, who died as infants, and began developing their cover stories.
  • Vavilov and his older brother Timofey claim they did not know their parents were Russian spies.

What they're saying: “The sins of parents ought not to be visited upon children without clear authorization by law,” Justice David Stratas wrote, according to the Post.

What's next: Timofey, who is also seeking citizenship, is still waiting on a ruling for his case, but the decision from his brother's will likely have a strong impact, the Post notes.

Go deeper: Russia claims American they arrested in Moscow is a spy

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Pelosi demands briefing on alleged Russian hack of Burisma

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Jan. 14. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday responded to reports that a Russian military intelligence unit successfully targeted Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company that once employed Joe Biden's son as a board member, and demanded that Congress be briefed on the administration's knowledge of the hack.

Why it matters: Pelosi called the reports "alarming" and said they serve as evidence that Russia is "continuing to interfere in our elections to benefit the President and to undermine our democracy."

Go deeperArrowJan 14, 2020

New Trump site for supporters to "win arguments with snowflakes"

President Trump speaks during a Dec. 18 rally in Battle Creek, Michigan. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump’s re-election campaign launched a website Tuesday it proclaims will help his supporters "win arguments with liberal friends, relatives, and snowflakes they encounter during the holidays."

Why it matters: The launch of the Trump campaign's snowflakevictory.com website comes as the U.S. is polarized by politics, in a year marked by the release of the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and Trump's impeachment — and the site follows Trump's rhetoric on those and other issues.

Go deeperArrowDec 25, 2019

India shuts down internet as protests over citizenship bill continue

Photo: Biju Boro/AFP via Getty Images

The Indian government has blocked phone and mobile internet service in parts of the country where protests persist over the country's new citizenship law that excludes Muslims, AP reports.

The big picture: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose government suggests temporary blackouts help to maintain law and order, has suspended internet access more than 100 times so far this year, AP notes. The internet has been down in the city of Aligarh for six straight days as of Saturday, and the heavily student-run protests have turned violent as well.

Go deeperArrowDec 21, 2019