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5 things you absolutely must know today

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Big oil back on agenda after Republican gains in Senate

The beleaguered, stalled, controversial Keystone XL pipeline may get a second wind after Republicans seized control of the U.S. Senate in the 2014 midterm elections. They outlined two, key energy-related pushes: to approve the Keystone project and keep coal-fire safe from climate change regulators. This is not a surprise, and shouldn’t be to anyone with half a bead on the polarities that make up U.S. politics. After years of pushing, the Senate door has been opened. And they all tumbled in. The Republicans seem, according to news reports, eager to stifle renewable energy initiatives, and anything that has to do with climate change. The Keystone project, which has been stalled, waiting for U.S. President Barack Obama’s approval for quite some time, will when completed deliver 830,000 barrels per day of oil from Alberta and North Dakota to the world’s largest refining centre on the U.S. Gulf Coast. It’s still up to Obama, but they will be pesky. Obama has said he will do what it takes to work in consort with the GOP. [Source: Globe and Mail]

AC/DC drummer faces planning-to-murder charges

AC/DC drummer, Phil Rudd, has been charged with possession ofmethamphetamine, marijuana, and attempting to plan a murder. His New Zealand home was raided Thursday morning, appearing in court to face the charges shortly after. And this as the rock band plans to release a new album later this year. Christmas album? We don’t know. Rudd was released on bail, but only if he promised to not contact anyone involved in the murder plot, which targeted two men, according to the BBC. Police raided Rudd’s home after allegedly receiving a tip from the public. If Rudd is found guilty of intending to murder the two unnamed men, he could face up to 10 years in prison. [Source: BBC]

Japan wins over Scotland in whiskey competition

Jim Murray sampled more than 1,000 whiskeys, each one a possible candidate for top spot in the World Whiskey Bible. This is Murray’s baby. He makes the call. And for the first time in the publication’s 12-year tenure, Murray, presumably a connoisseur. put all his weight behind Japan’s Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013. Not one Scotland entry made the top three, according to Murray. “It’s a single malt which no Scotch can at the moment get anywhere near,” he told The Atlantic. The Yamazaki distillery is renown, apparently, its roots in a chemist who found inspiration for whiskey after his time living in Scotland. While North American distilleries suffered the prohibition, Japanese drink tanks were allowed to flourish. Japanese whiskeys are expected to make an impact in U.S. and Canada soon. [Source: The Atlantic] 

Burkina Faso urged to find new president under threat of sanctions

Burkina Faso’s transitional government, made so after a groundswell of activists unhappy with formerPresident Blaise Compaore’s proposal to stay in power for another term, is facing a leadership crisis. Compaore resigned last week amid the pressure, and the military has been in charge since then. The African Union has given the country two weeks to find a new ruler before it begins imposing sanctions. During crisis talks, Burkina Faso’s current political parties that this transitional government last a year, ending after elections scheduled for November 2015. Compaore took control of Burkina Faso in a coup in 1987, and has been president since. He voiced his intentions to run for election again, inciting the mire the country is currently dealing with. [Source: BBC]

MP Dean Del Mastro resigns amid election cover up charges

Tory MP Dean Del Mastro has resigned from the House of Commons. He did so after being found guilty of financial cover ups related to his 2008 campaign for office. He’s charged with spending too much and lying about it, in other words. The laws for things of this nature are outined in Canada’s Election Act. “I will not be a distraction in Peterborough,” he said, during Question Period. “I wish it wasn’t a distraction. I wish it wasn’t something that I had to fight.” Del Mastro maintains his innocence. The Ontario Court of Justice disagrees. He plans to fight the charges before his sentencing date of Nov. 21. His resignation came after news broke that some of his legal fees were paid through a fundraiser Brian Mulroney headlined in 2013. [Source: CBC]


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