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Taz Stuart interim leader of new political party

Former Winnipeg entomologist Taz Stuart, beloved for his hair, personality, and mosquito expertise, is the interim leader of the newly formed Manitoba Party, which is hoping to become official in time for the provincial election on April 19 of this year. The Manitoba Party is promising to cut PST three percentage points to five per cent, implement a flat income tax rate of 10 per cent, and abolish the business payroll tax the province gets millions of dollars from. The idea, put simply by party president Gary Marshall: “If you alleviate that punishment … people will be far more inclined to produce, to be productive, to work harder.” The party is searching for candidates now. Stuart plans to run in the Fort Whyte riding, against PC leader Brian Pallister. [Source: CBC]

Video: reviews of old and obscure military rations

Watch YouTube user Steve1989 review “old and obscure Military Rations that you don’t get a chance to see often in photos, let alone on video.”

Five planets align for rare spectacle 

From now until the end of the first week of February, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn can be observed as what will look like a line of bright, dazzling stars, according to National Geographic. While skywatchers have been able to see this rare occurrence starting a few days ago, the magazine reports that tomorrow morning will be the best time to view it, about 30 to 60 minutes before sunrise. “If you look too early, it’ll be hidden below the horizon. If you look too late, it’ll be washed out by sunlight.” The planets will be visible near the horizon line in the southeast. If you miss the opportunity, it will come again in 2020. [Source: National Geographic]

U.S. braces for snowstorm that ‘could affect 50 million people’

The U.S. east coast is bracing for a massive storm later today. A state of emergency has been declared in Washington DC, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Strong winds, blizzards, and up to 30 inches of snow are expected. The National Guard in Virginia has up to 300 troops ready to be deployed to help out, according to the Guardian newspaper. “It does have the potential to be an extremely dangerous storm that can affect more than 50 million people,” said director of the National Weather Service Louis Uccellini. Major airlines have issued waivers for travel over the weekend, schools in Washington are closed today, and many businesses are ending the Friday workday at noon. [Source: Guardian]

Dozens of refugees drown in Aegean Sea shipwrecks

At least 42 refugees have drowned in the Aegean Sea on Friday in two separate shipwrecks, according to officials. One boat sunk after striking rocks near the island of Farmakonisi, and the other capsized off the coast of Kalolimnos. More than one million migrants illegally arrived in Europe last year, and more than 700 died crossing into Greece, reports the BBC. This year, at least 100 migrants have lost their lives in Aegean Sea. “Today, once again, we heard of dreadful numbers of dead, including children, in the Aegean,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a joint news conference. “We cannot let that happen, and let illegal traffickers and people smugglers be in charge between Turkey and Greece, continuing to put people in danger and profiteering.” [Source: BBC]


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