Prairie Post

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.


Winnipeg to tally its homeless

Winnipeg is planning to take a census of its homeless people, to gauge whether or not its related social programs are doing what they should, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. It’s called a point-in-time count, and over the course of two nights it will tally those staying in emergency shelters, hotel rooms, and outside. The Harper government has set aside $600-million to combat homelessness in Canada, some of which Winnipeg has already begun to receive. Access to the money requires a homelessness census be taken. But Winnipeg wants this, too, as part of its new plan to end homelessness. Current estimates put Winnipeg’s homelessness count at about 2,750 people, according to the Freep. “The key thing about a count is not necessarily that it give a precise indisputable number, because no method of counting will be perfect. But done consistently over time, the trends will become clear,” director of the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council Brian Bechtel told the Winnipeg Free Press. “Right now, nobody can say definitively whether homelessness in Winnipeg is worsening or improving.” The date for count has not yet been set. [Source: Winnipeg Free Press]

Japan enters ‘technical recession’

Japan is now in a technical recession, according to the BBC, after an unexpected decline in gross domestic product. What was poised to increase by 2.1 per cent from July to September, fell by 1.6 per cent. Exports have picked up as the Yen decreased in value, but that increase did not make it down to employees, according to analysts. Consumers have stopped spending. Japan’s large public debt and failing economic foundations are at odds with each other, forcing politicians to postpone the sales tax hike expected for 2015.”The Japanese economy is in recession and has now contracted in three of the last four quarters,” said Glenn Levine, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics, told BBC. “The most likely course is now a snap election in December in which voters choose, naturally enough, to delay the tax increase.” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to call a parliamentary election to vote on the tax delay. [Source: BBC]

Woman, 91, found alive in morgue freezer

Janina Kolkiewicz, Polish and 91, was discovered wriggling around in a body bag, in a morgue freezer, after being declared dead by her family doctor. A funeral home worker unzipped the bag (which must have been scary as hell), and immediately got an ear full about it being too cold. The doctor said she didn’t have a pulse, and wasn’t breathing. The diagnosis no doubt seemed routine. Kolkiewicz told news sources that she’s feeling fine. [Source: Death and Taxes]

This world has more than 35-million people enslaved in it

Slavery affects more than 35-million people. So says a report on the ubiquity of forced labour, human trafficking, forced marriages, debt bondage, and sexual exploitation: The Global Slavery Index published by Australian NGO Walk Free Foundation. The number reveals a troubling, 23 per cent increase in the amount of people enslaved from the preceding year. India has 14.2-million slaves, China 3.2M, Pakistan 2M, Uzbekistan 1.2M, and Russia 1M. These five countries accounted for more than half of the global scourge, but instances were found in the 167 countries the report looked at. “There is an assumption that slavery is an issue from a bygone era,” said Andrew Forrest, founder of the NGO fighting to end slavery. “Or that it only exists in countries ravaged by war and poverty. These findings show that modern slavery exists in every country. We are all responsible for the most appalling situations where modern slavery exists and the desperate misery it brings upon our fellow human beings. The first step in eradicating slavery is to measure it. And with that critical information, we must all come together – governments, businesses and civil society – to finally bring an end to the most severe form of exploitation.” [Source: The Guardian]

Harper drops the gloves with Putin

Despite his weak, slippery appearance, Prime Minister Stephen Harper summoned the balls available to him and reportedly told Russian President Vladimir Putin to “get out of Ukraine.” Putin left the G20 Summit soon after that comment was made, and before the event was officially over.“It is necessary for all of us to keep the pressure on Mr. Putin and his regime and to do so over the long term, to make it clear that it will not be business as usual,” Harper, pleased with himself for taking the stand, told reporters. “We send the message, as I think we have in Canada, that whether it takes fives months or 50 years, we’re not going to drop the subject until Ukrainian territory is returned to Ukrainians.” Putin left early, as Harper was not the only one to give him a hard time. U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly threatened further sanctions. [Source: Global News]


Follow Toban Dyck at @tobandyck 

For more interesting stuff, follow @spectatortrib on Twitter. And find us on Instagram, too: @spectatortribune.  

Follow this link to subscribe to 5 things you absolutely must know today: