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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.


New ceasefire reached in Ukraine

A new ceasefire between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels in the Luhansk region has been agreed upon, according to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Fighting along the border of the rebel-held region is to end Friday, and heavy artillery will start being withdrawn immediately, according to the agreement. A ceasefire agreement was reached in September during all-party talks in Belarus, but it was violated before the ink dried. On Monday a deal was reached for fighting to stop over the airport in the Donetsk region, but reports indicated rockets continued to fire hours after that deal was reached. [Source: CTV News]

Somali terror group kills 36 in Kenya

Al-Shabaab extremists have killed 36 quarry workers in Kenyan community of Koromey after allegedly breaking into their camp Tuesday night, and murdering those who could not prove they were Muslim. Most of those killed were Christians. The Somalia-based terror group is also responsible for an attack on Nov. 22, when the militants stopped a bus on route to Nariobi killing the 28 passengers who were unable to recite the Muslim statement of faith called the Shahada. The terrorist group is bent on ridding the area of Christians, claiming the area to be “Muslim lands.” Violence has been escalating in the past weeks, months, and years. And Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has come under fire for his dithering response. After the 2013 al-shabaab attack on Westgate mall in Nairobi that left 67 dead, the Uhuru government ordered a buffer zone near the Somali border. But that has not kept the extremists from entering the country, as hoped. The President has since Tuesday’s attack replaced his police chief and interior minister, and called for all Kenyans to unite and not fight among themselves. The country’s economy has also taken a hit; tourism dollars are depleting. [Source: The Guardian]

Islamic State leader’s wife and son seized at Lebanese border

The wife and son of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have been detained by Lebanese security forces after the pair were caught trying to enter the country from Syria using forged papers.  The Lebanese defense ministry is currently questioning them, according to the al-Safir newspaper. The extremist group denied reports last month claiming their leader had been killed in a U.S.-led airstrike on the town of Mosul, releasing an audio clip with the alleged voice of Baghdadi calling for “volcanoes of jihad” to erupt. The newspaper is calling the detention of his wife and child “a valuable catch.” It is not known how many wives Baghdadi has. He’s allowed by the law he follows to have four. [Source: BBC]

Nobel Prize winner and racist wants to sell medal to re-enter public life

James Watson is planning to put his Nobel Prize up for auction, after telling the Financial Times he feels like an “unperson” and that“no one really wants to admit I exist.” Watson, alongside Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, earned the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 for his work helping discover the DNA double helix. In 2007, Watson told the Sunday Times that Africa’s future doesn’t look good, disparaging black people as less intelligent than others. The scientific community distanced itself from him. His speaking engagements dried up. And he now feels like an “unperson,” telling the Financial Times “he’s not a racist in a conventional way.” Watson is hoping the auction, which he hopes will bring in millions, will allow him to re-enter public life. The Atlantic doubts this will work out for him. And Spectator Tribune hopes the same. To feel bad, which he said he does, and offer “not a racist in a conventional way” instead of an apology, perhaps Watson can live out his days as an unconventional racist in private. [Source: The Atlantic]

A Space Balls remake of new Star Wars trailer

A parody of the new Star Wars trailer has been made using clips from the original Star Wars parody film Space Balls using the audio from The Force Awakens. It’s not brilliant. But if you’ve watched Space Balls, the nostalgia will make you laugh.

Space Balls: The Schwartz Awakens

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Follow Toban Dyck at @tobandyck.

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