Republican Party takes aim at James Comey's credibility
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- Former FBI director James Comey's memoir hits stores Tuesday, and Republicans have launched a campaign to undermine his credibility
- Canada is running short of EpiPens
- Ghanaian athletes stage what might be the shortest boycott ever at the Commonwealth Games in Australia
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Trump's No. 1 enemy
The Republican Party is striking back at James Comey.
The former FBI director's highly-anticipated memoir is set to hit stores on Tuesday, but the campaign to undermine his credibility has already begun in earnest.
Yesterday, the Republican National Committee unveiled a new website called Lyin' Comey. The slick page features a number of unflattering photos of the 57-year-old, along with critical quotes about his record at the FBI from both members of the GOP and Democrats.
The party has also sent a series of talking points to its legislators and Trump's cable-TV surrogates to try and ensure that the counter-offensive sticks to three main themes: Comey's supposed "misconduct" at the FBI, the notion that he is a disgruntled former employee, and the fact that Democrats didn't like him much either.
Revelations from Comey's 304-page tell-all, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, are already trickling out. They include several unflattering anecdotes about the President's erratic behaviour, and attempts to sideline an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Comey is also embarking on national book tour, which will see him speak in front of paying audiences across America. In some cities, demand is so high that tickets are being scalped for as much as $850.
The book is already a runaway success, having occupied the top spot on Amazon's best-seller list for almost a month — all thanks to pre-orders.
An ABC News-Washington Post poll released today asked 'Who is more believable?' and 48 per cent of respondents said Comey, versus 32 per cent who favoured Trump. In the random national sample of 1,002 adults, there was an almost identical split over the president's decision to fire him as FBI director, with 47 per cent saying they disapproved versus 33 per cent who said it was the right move.
The far worse news for Trump is that in the same poll, 90 per cent of Democrats and 70 per cent of independent voters support the ongoing investigation into his campaign's possible collusion with Russia. And 43 per cent of Republicans now do too.
All of which raises the question of who is buying the Republicans' heavy-handed attacks.
Like this fake book cover.
FIRST LOOK at Comey’s new book. Pre-order more insider info at <a href="https://t.co/ms7BQ1FS2T">https://t.co/ms7BQ1FS2T</a> <a href="https://t.co/QbpPitVcho">pic.twitter.com/QbpPitVcho</a>—@GOP
EpiPen supply problems
Canada is running short of EpiPens — again.
Yesterday, Health Canada issued an advisory about the life-saving injectors, saying that their maker, Pfizer Canada, has told them that supplies of the adult 0.3 mg EpiPen, and the children's 0.15 mg EpiPen Jr., are low.
The national inventory of both products is being "carefully managed," the statement says.
Pfizer attributes the shortage to "delays" at its manufacturing facility and "limited third-party quantities of a component for the product."
In the meantime, Health Canada is telling people suffering from severe allergic reactions that it's OK to use expired auto-injectors, or call 911.
There are several other brands of epinephrine pens on the market, but they are not sold in Canada.
EpiPen shortages have become commonplace in the past year, following a worldwide recall over reports that some of the devices wouldn't work properly during life-threatening allergy attacks.
Pfizer told Bloomberg that it was "confident in the quality, safety and efficacy" of the EpiPens manufactured by its American subsidiary, Meridian Medical Technologies.
Earlier in the fall, the FDA had taken Meridian to task for "multiple violations" at its Brentwood, Mo., facility. "You failed to thoroughly investigate multiple serious component and product failures for your EpiPen products, including failures associated with patient deaths and severe illness," said a warning letter posted on the FDA's website. "You also failed to expand the scope of your investigations into these serious and life-threatening failures or take appropriate corrective actions, until FDA's inspection."
EpiPens are in limited supply in other countries as well.
This week, the British Press reported on pharmacist fears of "life or death situations" should they run out of the in-demand devices.
Australian allergy sufferers have been struggling with dwindling inventories of the pens since last fall.
Pfizer Canada issued its last warning about adult EpiPens three months ago, saying it would have "no inventory" of the devices for two to four weeks. At the time, the company said it anticipated that the problem would be resolved by the beginning of March.
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Ghana's Commonwealth Games revolt
Ghanaian athletes staged what might be the shortest boycott ever at the Commonwealth Games in Australia today.
The 72-member team was angry at the government's failure to pay them their full $100 per diem for the 23-day event on the Gold Coast, with most reportedly still owed $400 to $600 as of this morning.
So they organized via WhatsApp messages and announced they would stay away from Sunday's Closing Ceremony unless paid-in-full, with some competitors even threatening to seek asylum in Australia after the Games.
The escalating protest captured the government's attention in record time. Within hours, Ghana's ministry of sports and the country's Olympic Committee were saying that all the outstanding per diems had been paid and the boycott had been resolved.
"We — the GOC and the ministry — are disappointed at the action taken by athletes," Charles Osei Asibey, the communications chief for the Olympic Committee, told an Accra radio station. "Even though their monies had delayed, I think it was unnecessary to revolt … We didn't want them to keep so much money on them."
It's just the latest embarrassment for the West African nation during the 10-day sporting competition.
The group raised the suspicions of the Australian Border Force when they arrived in the country without computers, cameras or other journalism equipment, and were unable to answer basic questions about athletes or the sports they claimed to be covering.
The Australians had already busted a group from India who were trying to enter on journalists' visas, but turned out to be farmers.
And today, the country struck its first podium of the Games — and second-ever Commonwealth medal — a tie for bronze in men's light welterweight boxing.
With two days of competition remaining, Ghana is tied for 33rd place on the medal table.
Canada, with 74 medals, including 14 golds, sits fourth.
- Follow the CBC's Commonwealth Games coverage here
Quote of the moment
"I may get those records in my next lifetime."
- Michael Dagg, a 70-year-old Ottawa researcher, on Library and Archives Canada asking for an 80-year extension on a recent Access to Information request for files from Project Anecdote, an RCMP investigation into money laundering and public corruption launched in May 1993. The anticipated 29,200 day processing delay pushes the disclosure date to at least 2098.
What The National is reading
- Russia says Syrian 'chemical attack' was staged (BBC)
- Trump calls James Comey a 'slimeball' in latest Twitter rant (CBC)
- Duterte threatens to arrest ICC prosecutor (Al Jazeera)
- They called this Grade 9 girl 'disgusting' and 'ugly.' She fought back (CBC)
- Russia tested nerve agent on door handles before Skripal attack, U.K. claims (Guardian)
- How 879 days of space flight changed a cosmonaut (National Geographic)
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Poet's remains found in wine cellar (Independent)
- Woman loses €60,000 claim over go-kart crash buttock injury (Irish Times)
Today in history
April 13, 1972: Richard Nixon is happy to be in Canada
"The weather may be cool, but the welcome is very warm, and for this we are very grateful," Dick Nixon tells a large and enthusiastic Ottawa crowd. In between his historic visit to China and stop in Moscow, the U.S. president took some time to stroke America's northern neighbour, praising the shared, unguarded border and commitment to peacefully resolving differences.
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