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5 things you absolutely must know today

Every morning, we scour the Internet and vet what we believe are the five things you absolutely need to know for the day. Join this mailing list to receive 5 things you absolutely must know today every morning, Monday to Friday.


Selinger announces leadership vote

Greg Selinger will put his beleaguered premiership on the chopping block at the annual NDP convention in March. He announced the upcoming leadership vote to his office on Saturday, a move made to deal with his party’s vocal ambivalence over his ability to run Manitoba. Selinger told the Winnipeg Free Press, “This will be a chance for… me to give voice to why I think I should be leader and anybody else that wishes to do that as well.” To those following Selinger’s developing, colourless battle for political breath, this move is one he seemed destined to make. The death knell has been rung for our NDP, it seeems.  The next provincial election will take place in April of 2016. [Source: CBC]

Mexican gang members confess to killing missing students

Mexico’sAttorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said the 43 missing students were killed by gang members acting on orders given to them by local police in the town of Iguala. Karam said on Friday three gang members alleged involved in the abduction claimed the students were handed to them by Iguala police. The student convoy was on its way back to university after attending a civic event to protest poor hiring practices when they were intercepted by police and shot at. One bus fled. It was those inside this vehicle who were brought to the local station then handed over to gang members and later killed. Karam said the gang members confessed to burning their murdered bodies before dumping them in a Cocula landfill site. More than 70 people have been arrested in connection with the case. Protests erupted in Mexico City after news broke of the killings. Activists burned the main door of the National Palace and painted its walls with slogans. Police have arrested 14 students connected to the uprising. [Source: BBC]

Tensions between Russia and west on new cold war trajectory

We’re “on the brink of a new cold war,” said former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. What’s playing out between Russia and the west is a dangerous game of brinkmanship, according to a study published by the European Leadership Network, a think tank based in London. In the past eight months, Russia has butted heads with the western world in over 40 incidents. One such incident, The Guardian reports, took place in March when a Russian plane nearly collided with passenger plane from Denmark. The Russian aircraft was not using its transponders. It did not want to be seen. “We believe the nearly 40 incidents logged are a very serious development, not necessarily because they indicate a desire on the part of Russia to start a war but because they show a dangerous game of brinkmanship is being played, with the potential for unintended escalation in what is now the most serious security crisis in Europe since the cold war,” authors Thomas Frear, Lukasz Kulesa, and Ian Kearns told news sources. Much of the west is accusing Russia of supplying rebel groups in the Ukraine with tanks and other weapons, threatening what is already a shaky, if only nominal, ceasefire agreement in the area. Moscow denies this, and returns the blame to its senders claiming the imposed sanctions on Russia are provoking tensions. Gorbachev agreed with Russia. [Source: The Guardian]

School attack in Nigeria kills 48

The Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram is believed to have killed at least 48 students during an assembly at a school in the town of Potsiskum, according to police. The suicide bomber was allegedly dressed like a student when he walked into the Government Science Secondary School. Boko Haram has yet to take responsibility, but authorities are confident the group is behind it. Since it was founded in 2002, the extremist group Boko Haram has killed thousands of people during their campaign to transform Nigeria into an Islamic State. In April of this year, the group abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok. Negotiations are still underway for their release and for a ceasefire between Boko Haram and the Nigerian authorities. Boko Haram’s leaders Abubakar Shekau said the girls have converted to Islam and have been married off. Protesters claiming Nigeria is not doing enough to stop the terrorist group threw stones and other objects at authorities attending the bomb scene. [Source: BBC]

More news, and 100-year-old woman celebrates birthday with a skydive

Our Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with a delegation from China to discuss trade deals, the country’s poor human rights record, and its treatment of minority groups. Harper’s office has not released the details of the meeting. And, in other news, the leader of the Islamic State group may have been injured in an airstrike that took place over the weekend. But let’s focus on Eleanor Cunningham of Howes Cave, New York instead. She celebrated her 100th birthday this Saturday by jumping out of a plane. It was her third skydive since taking it up at the age of 90. Her doctor signed off, she kissed her great-great-granddaughter, suited up, and jumped. [Source: New York Daily News]


Follow Toban Dyck at @tobandyck 

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