Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. CEO of RBC releases statement regarding outsourcing of jobs

Royal Bank of Canada’s Gordon Nixon is responding to critics after a recent report stated that the bank would be eliminating almost 50 Toronto employees and replacing them with work by the outsourcing company iGate Corp. Though iGate Corp is headquartered in Fremont, California, most of its workers are based in Bangalore, India. Nixon said RBC “works very hard as an institution to ensure that we put a very high priority on Canadian jobs,” so either he’s full of shit or somebody just wrote up the report for the fun of it. [The Globe and Mail]

2. North Korea tells foreigners in South Korea to get out

Just in case you had forgotten how much of a batshit crazy supervillian stereotype North Korea is, their latest statement warns foreigners to get out of South Korea before they bomb it to smithereens.  UN Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon has responded by politely asking North Korea to tone down its rhetoric before they create an “uncontrollable situation.” [BBC]

3. Bird flu death toll rises in China

One more person has died in the recent outbreak of H7N9, bringing China’s (official) death toll from the flu to eight. The actual number may be a bit higher—in the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic, the real number of fatal cases weren’t revealed until weeks after they were discovered.  To counter the outbreak, the Hangzhou Carrier Pigeon Association plans to vaccinate somewhere around 90,000 pigeons, because obviously they’ve never tried to catch a pigeon. [CBC, The Atlantic Wire]

4. Kenya swears in President Kenyatta

Tens of thousands of Kenyans gathered this morning to watch Uhuru Kenyatta take his presidential oath of office. Kenyatta has said that he will be a leader for all ethnic groups, which is a bold statement coming from a guy facing international charges of crimes against humanity after he allegedly funded the ethnic violence following the previous election. [Al Jazeera]

5. Facebook ups the price of celebrity stalking

If you want to try to catch Rihanna on the rebound by sending her a Facebook message, it’s going to cost you. Facebook has set the price for messaging popular users at around $15, though the price varies according to a seemingly random algorithm (it’ll cost you $15 to message techie Chris Pirillo but it’s free to message Vin Diesel, who has over 300 times more followers). But don’t worry, you can still message Justin Bieber for free, so we should probably all start spamming him immediately. [Buzzfeed]

Mark Schram grew up on a ranch in southwestern Manitoba and now writes out of Winnipeg. If you would like to offer him a job or ask him about how to pull a calf, you can contact him at