Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. Eritrean diplomat given the diplomatic boot out of Canada

The Canadian government has moved to expel the head of Eritrea’s consul general, Semere Ghebremariam O. Micael, for soliciting a “diaspora tax” from Eritreans in Canada. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird issued a news release today saying he has taken steps to expel Micael and he must leave by noon ET on June 5. The expulsion is rooted in the allegations from Toronto’s Eritrean community that Micael had used his position to fundraise for the Eritrean military, imposing a mandatory contribution from Eritrean expats to help the country fund its war against Ethiopia. The UN has come out against Eritrea’s worldwide “diaspora tax” on its expats, valued at two per cent of their annual income. [CTV]

2. French couple weds in country’s first same-sex wedding

Approximately 500 guests attended the wedding of Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau in Montpellier today in France’s first same-sex marriage. The mayor of Montpellier officiated the nation’s first same-sex wedding while the ceremony was held under tight police surveillance as a result of the opposition to the marriage law that was passed earlier this month. Last Sunday, tens of thousands of people protested in Paris against the new law which ended with riot police shooting tear gas. [CNN]

3. Chinese baby fell into sewer pipe accidentally, says child’s mother

The unnamed mother whose baby boy was rescued from the pipes below a residential apartment block told police she gave birth unexpectedly on the toilet and that the baby slipped in to the sewer. The baby is recuperating in hospital after being freed from the pipe by firefighters in Jinhua city on Saturday. China’s Zhezhong News service said that the unmarried 22-year old mother told police she could not afford an abortion and kept her pregnancy a secret. The woman said she tried to catch the baby after unexpectedly giving birth, but he slipped into the sewer before she was able to. She then called the building’s landlord and went to work after he had been rescued before admitting the baby was hers when confronted by police. [CTV]

4. Deadly Belarusian beavers

In Belarus, a substantial increase in the beaver population has been blamed after a number of attacks on humans by Canada’s noble and apparently temperamental national animal. In March, a 60-year-old man died from his injuries after he was bitten multiple times by the large rodent while trying to capture it for a photo. The Belarusian emergency services are receiving reports of aggression by beavers for the first time ever, as their population numbers tripled in the past decade after hunting bans were put in place. [CBC]

5. Telescope will provide moon’s-eye view of Earth

A telescope set to launch to the moon in 2015 will allow the public to view the Earth from the lunar surface. The telescope, known as the International Lunar Observatory precursor, was privately designed and built by the Silicon Valley-based Moon Express. The flight’s test hardware was unveiled yesterday in Vancouver the telescope will grant observers never-before-seen views because they will be taken from the lunar surface. [Global]

Palmer does the social media for Spectator Tribune and his own Twitter account, too! @palmerfritschy