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5 things you absolutely must know today

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Manitoba NDP’s dissenting five set to resign

The five Manitoba cabinet ministers who spoke out against Premier Greg Selinger’s leadership are poised to resign today, according to CBC Manitoba. Erin Selby, Andrew Swan, Theresa Oswald, Stan Struthers, and Jennifer Howard, the group’s spokesperson, all intend to give up their cabinet seats, but want to trudge on as NDP MLAs. The official announcement is expected to come this morning. The new cabinet ministers will be sworn in during a ceremony later today, according to Selinger, who reportedly gave the dissenters a choice: renege or resign.  “Last week I had direct conversations with members of my team who have chosen another path. In those conversations I made it clear: either focus on the priorities of Manitoba families as a part of our team, or resign. I am saddened by the decisions they’ve made. I wish to thank each for their contributions toward building a better province,” said Selinger. [Source: CBC]

Canada’s airstrikes begin

Canada’s CF-18s inaugurated our involvement in the U.S.-led air war against Islamic extremist groups after a pack, group, pride, not sure, dropped bombs on known IS targets near the Iraqi city of Fallujah, according to Ottawa. The attack happened on Sunday, but officials need a couple of days to figure out whether or not the 230-kilogram, laser-guided bombs hit the intended targets. The attack marks the first of what will be a six-month military deployment in the area, aimed at stifling the advancement of extremist groups in Iraq. Canada is one of 40 other countries involved in trying to stop the extremist groups currently operational in Syria and Iraq. Canada has deployed more than 600 military personnel to Iraq. [Source: Globe and Mail] 

Terminal brain cancer patient Brittany Maynard took her own life on Saturday

Brittany Maynard, 29, took her own life on Saturday, ending on her own terms a fight against a rare, painful, terminal form of brain cancer. At her home, and in the company of loved ones, she administered to herself a lethal cocktail of drugs given to her by a doctor in Oregon, under the state’s Death with Dignity Act. After months of treatment met with worsening conditions, Maynard and her husband moved from California to Oregon, where assisted-suicide has been legal since 1997. She made headlines a few weeks ago, when she said she would end it all on Nov. 1. But, according to a statement made near that time, her quality of life was still good enough to keep living. One source close to her said the decision to end her life on Saturday came after her seizures began getting more severe, hampering her ability to speak, and after pains elsewhere on her body took a similarly severe turn. [Source: BBC]

Controversy surrounds rebel election in Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists held an election in Ukraine yesterday. Russia has recognized its results as legitimate, Kiev says the brazen move of rebels forming governments in the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk is an affront to the peace process, and Germany’s “government does not recognize these illegitimate elections,” said spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Steffen Seibert. “If the situation worsens, it may be necessary to consider intensifying the sanctions.” The elections came after rebels purposefully refused to participate in the parliamentary vote on Oct. 26. Russia is the only country backing the leaders elected in the rebel regions. Separatist leader Alexande Zakharchenko, 38, was elected as head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.  Information has not been released on the results for the Luhansk region. The United Nations that more than 4,000 people have died since fighting began in the area between pro-Russian and pro-west groups seven months ago. [Source: Bloomberg]

Boko Haram denies truce, says abducted girls have been converted and married off

Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau has released a statement saying there was never a truce, and that they will not release the more than 200 abducted schoolgirls, saying, “They have now memorised two chapters of the Qur’an. We have married them off. They are in their marital homes.” About 276 girls were seized by the Nigerian extremist group in April. Some managed to escape shortly after capture, but sources claim about 217 remain missing. The group targets women aged from infancy to 65, many of whom are taken by the group for their Christian beliefs or because they are attending school. Survivors of Boko Haram military camps have spoken about rape, torture, forced marriage and religious conversion. “Now the Nigerian government and its allies need to step up their efforts to put an end to these brutal abductions and provide for the medical, psychological and social needs of the women and girls who have managed to escape,” said Human Rights Watch’s Daniel Bekele. [Source: The Guardian]

Honourable mention goes to: no Jian Ghomeshi news today. At least not yet. Which is great. And how daredevil Nik Wallenda successfully walked on a high wire from one Chicago skyscraper roof to another, while blindfolded, and without the use of safety nets. Then he did it again. Whatever. [Source: CBC]


Follow Toban Dyck at @tobandyck 

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