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5 things you absolutely must know today (weekend edition)

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Fall of Berlin Wall anniversary this weekend

It’s been 25 years since the Berlin Wall was taken down. At least it will be on Sunday. And Germany is set to spend the weekend commemorating those whose lives were lost attempting to leave communist East Germany.Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up on the East side of the Wall, will MC the event, which is set to draw millions of people, from activists to artists. The Berlin State Orchestra will perform, as will British songwriter Peter Gabriel, a personal favourite. The Wall was built by East German lawmakers in August of 1961. [Source: The Local]

Tanks entering Ukraine from Russia a threat to shaky ceasefire

Thirty-two tanks and 30 trucks have crossed into Ukraine from Russia, according to reports from Kiev. This, if you’ve been following the news from the area, is a brazen gesture, further calling into question the tenuous ceasefire reached between pro-Russia separatists and Ukraine. Some officials feared Russia’s recognition of the separatist elections that recently took place in Luhansk and Donetsk would mean a return to war. Those fears have only been strengthened after reports came in of a slow, steady stream of heavy military equipment advancing across the border and into the rebel-held regions.”The deployment continues of military equipment and Russian mercenaries to the front lines,” military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told BBC. More than 4,000 people have died in the conflict since it began in April. [Source: BBC]

French farmers fling crap at government over falling prices

Farmers in France flung pieces of shit at a government building in protest of the falling commodity prices in the area caused by increased regulations, cheap imports, rising costs, and sanctions against Russia. Thousands turned up for the protest, where, in addition to a truck load of feces, protesters dumped other forms of garbage in public places, including rotting apples, pumpkins, and other produce. The participating farmers implored people to support local agriculture by eating local. [Source: The Atlantic]

Government put community at risk over failing to fire controversial nurse, says Nunavut health minister

Monica Ell, Nunavut’s health minister, announced plans for an external review looking into how a Cape Dorset nurse was allowed to keep her job and receive a promotion after facing about 20 complaints related to her skills as a nurse. Health officials admit they put Cape Dorset “at risk” by not firing Debbie McKeown, according to reports obtained by the CBC. McKeown was put on leave in May, her formal firing pending an investigation into the complaints, which include misdiagnosis, workplace harassment, refusing to see patients – in one case leading to death – and bringing a premature baby to a smoke-filled room. The government knew about the complaints and failed to act.  Ell plans to make the results of the investigation public. [Source: CBC]

Inventor of CorningWare dies at 91

It was calamity, serendipitous calamity,that led to S. Donald Stookey’s invention of CorningWare. He was involved in an unrelated research project when in 1952 he stuck a glass plate into a malfunctioning oven that overshot his temperature setting by 500 Fahrenheit, heating the plate to 1,600 degrees. He saw a white plate instead of the ooze he expected. He then took it out, dropped it, saw it bounce instead of break, observing the military-grade dinnerware we all love. Stookey passed away today at the age of 91 in a New York health facility. “Whose mother or grandmother doesn’t have the ubiquitous casserole dish with the dainty blue flowers?” said Desirae Warkentin, 5 things you absolutely must know today editor, and frequent CorningWare user. [Source: Globe and Mail]

Honourable mention: 

Disney releases name of new Star Wars movie

It’s called The Force Awakens. The Star Wars reboot featuring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and actor Harrison Ford will be released to the world at the end of 2015, according to Walt Disney, the company that bought Lucasfilm in 2012. It’s has yet to be revealed how it will pick up the pieces strewn by Return of the Jedi. Disney, a company stained by anti-Semitic allegations, said it will release the newly awoken trilogy in two-year intervals. Is our collective breath baited? Sometimes train wrecks are worth stopping for. [Source: NPR]


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