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5 things you absolutely must know today

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Coalition government considered, if no other way to oust Harper

The NDP will consider forming a coalition government with the federal Liberal party, if doing so is the only way to defeat Stephen Harper in the upcoming election, says the NDP’s Skeena-Bulkey Valley MP Nathan Cullen. “The Liberal voters that I know are as fed up with Stephen Harper as anybody,” Cullen told news sources on Wednesday. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has routinely rejected the notion of a coalition government, but has lately reneged slightly, saying he’d consider it if Tom Mulcair wasn’t their leader. Cullen expressed confidence that the electorate’s drive for a change in government would trump any discomfort they may feel towards the less familiar idea of a coalition government. Voters head to the polls on Oct. 19. [Source: Globe and Mail]

Greece passes second set of reforms

Parliament in Greece has passed a second set of reforms, edging the country closer to receiving a €86bn European Union bailout. The reforms include amendments to the country’s banking and judicial systems, and come a week after Greece passed an initial set of austerity measures imposed by Eurozone countries so bailout talks could begin. Thousands of protesters were present while the bill was being debated, with some groups reportedly throwing gas bombs at police for a brief period of time. [Source: BBC]

Swiss Army called in to save hot cows

The Swiss Army was called in on Tuesday to cool down cows pastured in the Jura mountains. Super Puma helicopters were commissioned to scoop water from a nearby lake and fill temporary reservoirs the army setup to save the cattle from the intense heat wave the country has been battling this past week. [Source: Associated Press]

Ottawa is Ashley Madison capital of Canada

Ottawa is Canada’s extramarital capital, as well, apparently. According to statistics leaked in the Ashley Madison hack, one in five Ottawa residents subscribe to the site that until now helped people secretly cheat on their spouses. If the hacker group claiming responsibility for the breach, The Impact Team, chooses to release the data it was able to upload from the site, nearly 200,000 subscribers from Ottawa would be exposed. The Canadian capital has the most subscribers, per capita, of any other city nationwide. “Everybody says Ottawa is a sleepy town and here we are with 200,000 people running around on each other,” municipal employee Jon Weaks, 27, told Reuters. The Impact Team gave AM the choice to shut down permanently or have all their users’ data released to the public. AM has released a statement saying contrary to what The Impact Team is alleging, it does erase all user data once a profile has been deleted. In the wake of this, the site is allowing subscribers to delete their profiles free of charge. [Source: NYDailyNews]

China to abolish one-child policy

China is set to abolish its controversial one-child policy, replacing it for an equally abhorrent and limiting two-child policy. The new regulation is being considered, as the draconian one-child measure introduced in 1980 in Beijing has come under attack from human rights groups, the Chinese people, and analysts warning of an ageing and shrinking labour pool. The one-child policy has been blamed for countless forced abortions and the creation of what some have called a demographic “time bomb.” “The core issue is not about one-child or two-children,” said Liang Zhongtang, a demographer from the Shanghai Academy of Social Science. “It’s about reproductive freedom. It’s about basic human rights. In the past, the government failed to grasp the essence of the issue.” The new law could be in place as early as next year. [Source: The Guardian]

Follow Toban Dyck at @tobandyck.

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