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5 things you absolutely must know today (weekend edition)

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.


Alberta wants China’s money to feed oil lust

Alberta’s new swath of tory leaders wants Ottawa to loosen its foreign investment rules, allowing easier access for countries interested in the ghoulish goings-on of the oil sands. Summary: Alberta wants China’s money, and Harper’s Canada isn’t “for sale to foreign governments.” Harper allowed China National Offshore Oil Company to purchase Nexen Energy ULC  for $15.1-billion USD, but the deal frightened him and came with a number of caveats, the most notable of which were his not for sale quote and a formidable list of polices bent on making it difficult for state-owned companies to dip their fingers in Canada’s oil. Some Chinese companies claim Harper is discriminating against them, specifically. Energy investments from the country have plummeted. Alberta has its eye on all that money, and possibly oil sands expansion. [Source: Globe and Mail]

Clown costumes banned in French town

Vendargues, a small town in the south of France, has banned clown disguises for a month, starting today, on Halloween. It’s become a thing in the area for teenagers to dress up as clowns and beat people up, or, in some cases, and still dressed as clowns, get weapons and frighten passers-by. More than a dozen teenagers dressed as clowns have been arrested, leading Mayor Pierre Dudieuzere to enforce the ban. The movement, which is at first read silly, second read serious, and third, terrifying, has spread overseas. “Since mid-October, a rumour inspired by videos published on the Internet, is worrying the population about the presence of threatening and aggressive clowns in France,” said French police. The U.S. is rumoured to have started the frightening clown craze, or at least a version of it – possibly one that doesn’t include bats, knives, and beating up people. Children under the age of 13 are still allowed to dress up as clowns in Vendargues, though. [Source: BBC and France24]

Rogers teaming up with Vice

Rogers Media is teaming with unlikely ally, Vice Media, out of Brooklyn, to form a production company that will produce Canadian content for worldwide distribution on TV, mobile, and online. Vice and Rogers?! Vice will operate the Toronto facility, and is planning to produce a daily news show for Canadians and a 24-hour TV channel aimed at 18-34-year-old Canadians. This comes about one year after Vice launched its own network. Vice will distribute its Canadian content across Rogers’ platforms, as well as worldwide through its own media network. [Source: Real Screen] 

Protesters in Burkina Faso call for president’s immediate resignation

The protests, in which Burkina Faso’s parliament and city hall building were set on fire, continue, as opposition leader Zephirin Diabre urges activist to begin occupying the capital, Ouagadougou. The dissent began over a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the country’s president, Blaise Compaore, to extend his 27-year rule. Protesters set fire to numerous government buildings. The proposal has been retracted, but now Diabre wants the immediate resignation of Compaore, who has agreed to not seek reelection in 2015. Army chief Gen Honore Traore announced the dissolution of parliament and the forming of a transitional, all-parties government that will hold power until the 2015 election. “The opposition has said and will say again that the precondition for any discussion relating to a political transition is the departure, pure and simple and without condition, of Blaise Compaore,” said the opposition, in a release. Diabre is calling on protesters to occupy public spaces and maintain pressure. [Source: BBC]

Halloween music to get behind

The Atlantic recommends listening to Camille Saint-Saëns’s  Danse Macabre this Halloween. And so do we. It’s evocative, intelligent, frightening. “Halloween deserves something more nastily pagan, evoking noisome crypts and jangling bones and moldering souls. Which is why, at least once a death-season, I return to Camille Saint-Saëns’s Danse Macabre, a work of full-on eldritch perfection.” [Source: The Atlantic]

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(dis)Honourable mention goes to Georgia Representative Paul Broun’s appearance on Trunews with Rick Wiles, where the two tackled the issue of how Obama actually wants people to be infected with Ebola. Wiles suggested Ebola was a good thing, as it could kill off some gay people, adding that Obama might be using it as a way to kill people he considers too patriotic. [Source: Death and Taxes]


Follow Toban Dyck at @tobandyck 

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