The Canadian media focuses its international coverage on the Alexander Litvinenko murder probe, the Atlantic snowstorm and Kurdish Canadian military talks.

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By Duncan Spence, for the International Reporting Bureau at Humber College

The Canadian media focused international coverage today on the Alexander Litvinenko murder probe, the Atlantic snowstorm and Kurdish-Canadian military talks. 

The Globe and Mail launched its international coverage Wednesday with a front-page photo from Getty Images of people sledding in New York City. The photo ran above the fold with the headline “Storm overblown” and threw to a page A3 story about the exaggerated forecasting of the storm.

Below the fold, the Globe continued its coverage with a Steven Chase report from Ottawa headlined “Canada’s top soldier, Kurds to discuss military aid.” The story throws to page A10 and ran with an unattributed photo of General Thomas Lawson meeting with Kurdish Security Chancellor Masrour Barzani. 


The Globe also ran a two-page folio by Patrick Martin on the aftermath of the death of Saudi King Abdullah. It featured quotes on the Saudi file from top U.S. officials and a full colour two-page photograph from The New York Times of Barack Obama leading a delegation across a runway in Riyadh.  

The Globe’s international coverage continued with a report by Vanessa Gera in Brzezeinka, Poland on the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. The report ran with a Getty photograph of survivors and the headline “Survivors mark Auschwitz liberation.”   

Rounding out the Globe’s world coverage was a report penned by The New York Times’ Suliman Ali Zway and David D. Kirkpatrick in Tripoli. It ran without visuals under the headline “Deadly attack on hotel linked to Islamic State-aligned militants.”

The National Post opened its international coverage with a report on the death of ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. It was written by Gordon Rayner and Tom Whitehead and ran under the headline “Russian spy poised twice, probe told.”

The Post’s world coverage picked up on page A6 with a report by Stewart Bell on Dillon Hiller, a Canadian soldier who recently returned from fighting ISIS with Peshmerga forces in Iraq. The report was accompanied by a photo of Hiller and ran under the headline “Former soldier returns from fighting ISIS.”

Below Bell’s article was a short report from Lee Berthiaume headlined “Defence chief secretly meets Kurdish leaders.” The report was not accompanied by a visual.

The Post also ran the Times report on the hotel attack in Tripoli. It ran under the headline “ISIS stakes claim to Libya attack” and was accompanied by map graphics from the Post’s Jonathon Rivait.

The Post also ran an Associated Press report headlined “Obama defends Saudi alliance.” It ran with a colour AP photo of Barack Obama meeting with King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz in Riyadh. 

The Post rounded out its international coverage with two AP sidebars. The first,  headlined “ISIS sets 24-hour deadline for demands before hostages are executed,” detailed hostage negotiations between Japan, Jordan and ISIS. The second sidebar headlined “Airlines suspend flights to Baghdad” reported the suspension of flights to the Iraqi capital by a Dubai-based discount carrier.

The Toronto Star kicked off its international coverage with a large colour photo of people celebrating in Kobani. The photo ran above the fold and threw to a Global Post report on page A8 by Richard Hall. The report ran with a Getty photograph of a Kurdish fighter standing amongst debris in Kobani. 

Beside this report the Star ran the same AP sidebar on the ISIL hostage negotiations the Post ran. It ran under the headline “Hostages have less than 24 hours, video claims.”

The Star continued its coverage with a report by AP writer Jill Lawless headlined “Ex-Russian spy poisoned twice, inquiry told.” The report ran with a Getty photo of Marina Litvinenko, the widow of slain ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko.

The Star continued with a page A8 report from AP’s Esam Mohamed headlined “Nine dead in Tripoli hotel attack, officials say.” 

The Star also featured a report from Tanya Talaga about challenges faced by the new Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and the challenges he will face. The story, headlined “Greek Finance Minister’s Herculean task”  ran with an AP photograph of Varoufakis. 

The Star finished up its international coverage with the same AP report on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. It ran with an AFP/Getty photograph of French President François Hollande speaking to his German counterpart Joachim Gauck.

CBC opened its international coverage online with a breaking story from AP about Jordan’s agreement to release a female prisoner to ISIS in return for a captured Jordanian pilot. The report ran without a byline at the top of the world page and included a video element that updated the situation. It ran with the headline “Jordan ready to swap prisoner for pilot held by ISIS.”

Below this, the CBC continued its coverage of Boko Haram with another AP report that also ran with no byline. The report headlined “Boko Haram rampage in northeast Nigeria kills more than 40” detailed the rampage and how the city of Maiduguri appears to have been surrounded by Boko Haram militants.

Rounding out the CBC’s international coverage was an AP report on the snowstorm that hit the Atlantic coast Tuesday. The report headlined “U.S. snowstorm blankets East amid forecast questioning” ran without a byline and was accompanied by a Reuters photograph of a Boston suburb.

CTV launched its international coverage with a report headlined “New Englanders savaged by blizzard begin digging out. The report on Tuesday’s Atlantic snowstorm was written by William J. Kole and Bob Salsberg for AP and ran with an AP photo of a man digging out his driveway.

Continuing its coverage CTV ran a story from Ariel Schalit and Zeina Karam of AP headlined “Israel fires shells into Lebanon after Hezbollah attack.” It detailed a Israeli military response to a Hezbollah attack and ran with an AP photograph of Israeli artillery soldiers.

Finishing up CTVs world coverage was an AP report by Rod McGurik detailing the backlash to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s decision to make Queen Elizabeth II’s husband an Australian Knight. The story ran with the headline “Australian leader vows to consult more widely after knighthood backlash” and an AP photograph of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip boarding a plane.