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5 things you absolutely must know today

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.


Selinger tells Manitoba he’s not resigning

Our uncharismatic premier called everyone together to say something very uncharismatic. We gathered. We listened. We were bored. Manitoba’s NDP Premier Greg Selinger, under pressure to resign from five of his top cabinet members, held a press conference yesterday to announce that he will be staying on as premier. When legislature sits next month, and if a non-confidence vote is sought, Selinger will need the endorsement of 29 of the 57-seat assembly in order for the NDP to remain in power. “There’s been some folks that have recommended I take a serious look at my future role,” said Selinger at the news conference. “Some of them are cabinet ministers. I’ve had a conversation with those folks today and I said that we have to focus our energies on the priorities of Manitobans.” Selinger’s popularity has suffered since he reneged on a campaign promise and increased the PST by one percent. “I do have regrets for the way it was rolled out, but I believe the decision was the right one. We’ll be fully accountable for that and have been accountable for that.” [Source: Winnipeg Free Press]

Landslide in Sri Lanka kills 10 and leaves hundreds missing

A landslide in Sri Lanka has killed at least 10 people and left hundreds missing, according to officials in the area. The slide, set off by heavy monsoon rains, engulfed nearly 150 homes. About 300 people are still missing, as search and rescue operations scour the area, including 500 military personnel. “Some houses have been buried in 30-feet of mud,” Major General Mano Perera told AFP News. The heavy rains that triggered the mudslide have since subsided. [Source: BBC]

Rocket explodes, destroying equipment and science experiments set for space station

Seconds after liftoff on Tuesday, Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket exploded, spectacularly destroying a payload set for the International Space Station. Virginia-based Orbital Science said everyone on site had been accounted for following the sunset explosion. “We will understand what happened — hopefully soon — and we’ll get things back on track,” said a company spokesperson. “We’ve all seen this happen in our business before, and we’ve all seen the teams recover from this, and we will do the same.” On board the doomed vessel were science experiments from various schools across North America, including one from the Bert Edwards Science and Technology School in Kamloops, British Columbia. [Source: National Post]

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Nearly one million barrels of oil from BP spill sitting on ocean floor

About 800,000 barrels of oil may be sitting on the seafloor in and around the Gulf of Mexico, according to a team of researchers from the University of California. The BP oil spill in 2010 oozed about five million barrels of oil into the Gulf, but two million of those barrels have yet to be found. The team lead by David Valentine and his crew want to track down the oil to assess the full damage of the event. They found the low-sitting oil while searching for hopane, a hydrocarbon acting as a telltale sign of oil nearby. Researchers analyzed sediment samples from more than 500 locations in the Gulf, covering a 3,200 square kilometre area. If there quantity estimates are accurate, there is still over one million barrels of oil unaccounted for. [Source: Nature]

Militia leader sentenced to death for crimes committed during 1971 independence war

Motiur Rahman Nizami, the head of Bangladesh’s most prominent Islamist party has been sentenced to death for the crimes of genocide, murder, torture, and rape, which he committed during the war against Pakistan in 1971. According to a news report from the BBC, some government figures say that as many as three million people died in that nine-month war. Nizami acted as the commander of a militia that targeted and killed pro-independence activists in Bangladesh. His sentence comes from a war crimes tribunal established in 2010 by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to deal with the abuses surrounding the war that gave Bangladesh its independence. [Source: BBC]

Honourable mention goes to Sarah Palin, who went on record about drunken brawls, her haters, and her continued interest in running for office: “No, bless their hearts, those haters out there,” Palin replied, saying the comments only “invigorate” her to keep doing whatever it is she does. “The more they are pouring on, the more I’m going to bug the crap out of them by being out there with the voice, with the message, hopefully running for office in the future too.” [Source: Death and Taxes]


Follow Toban Dyck’s staid antics at @tobandyck 

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