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5 things you absolutely must know today

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Manitoba’s liquor-store workers threaten to strike

Some things in this world are terrifying: The Exorcist, zombies, and a Christmas season without booze. Friends, Manitobans, this terror is a possibility. Workers at Manitoba’s liquor commission are considering a strike, after failing to reach a bargain with the province over their new collective agreement. They are threatening to walk off the job on Nov. 30, the day of the Grey Cup. More than 800 members of the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union voted 98.3 per cent against the province’s latest offer, according to the Free Press, reporting that the union is asking for a two per cent wage increase, a portion of which would be made up by changes to sick time accrual. A strike vote will be held Nov. 27 to Dec. 2. It is not known what the government offered. Many other details also remain unknown at this time. What is certain, though, is what’s at stake: booze. [Source: Winnipeg Free Press]

North Korea waxes nuclear over UN’s claim of human rights violations

North Korea is threatening to conduct nuclear tests in retaliation to the UN’s latest push for an investigation into the country’s list of human rights abuses. NK has previously conducted such tests in 2006, 2009, and 2013, according to the BBC. Satellite images have confirmed action at a nuclear facility in North Korea. On Tuesday, a human rights committee at the UN voted in favour of referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court for its alleged human rights violations. Pyongyang denies the allegations, calling them “slander” from defectors. North Korea blames the U.S. for the recent push, and has vowed to intensify its military presence to protect against the country. Analysts remain skeptical the North Korea case will show up at the ICC, given that Russia and China, two countries that voted against the referral, sit on the Security Council in charge of making the referral. [Source: BBC]

Buffalo is getting more snow as we speak

Some areas in Buffalo are expected to get more than eight feet of snow before the system currently pelting the area is over, according to news reports. The lake-effect storm has so far killed eight people, says Erie County officials. A fresh dumping of snow began Thursday morning, tracking across western New York. “This is an historic event. When all is said and done, this snowstorm will break all sorts of records, and that’s saying something in Buffalo,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told news sources. If predictions are correct, and the area gets an additional two-feet today, the one-week snow tally for the Buffalo region will come close to it annual average: nearly eight feet. [Source: Globe and Mail]

Utah seeks comeback of death by firing squad

The kinds of issues at play in Ferguson, Missouri are shocking, and scary, and perhaps telling of the heinous things otherwise sane (probably not) minds are capable of believing in a specific context, tradition, state. And did you know that Utah is considering bringing back firing squads for state executions? They are. Utah’s lawmakers backed a proposal to bring back the practice, which the state banned only 10 years ago. They want firing squads back, citing problems with the efficiencies of lethal-injection drugs. “We have to have an option,” Republican Representative Paul Ray told news sources. “If we go hanging, if we go to the guillotine, or we go to the firing squad, electric chair, you’re still going to have the same circus atmosphere behind it. So is it really going to matter?” The proposal calls for the use of firing squad only if the lethal dose of drugs cannot be obtained at least 30 days before the execution – of a person. It’s good to know these things, but yikes. [Source: NBC]

Thirteen killed per day since September ceasefire in Ukraine

Since the ceasefire took effect on Sept. 5 of this year, an average of 13 people have been killed on a daily basis in eastern Ukraine, according to a UN report. The report states that in the eight-week period 957 people have been killed amid ceasefire violations from Ukraine and those in its rebel-held regions. The report refers to what’s going on in Donetsk and Luhansk as a total breakdown of law, and points the finger at abuses executed by government forces. The situation is exacerbated by the large amount of weapons and foreign fighters streaming into the country, allegedly from Russia. [Source: BBC]

Honourable mention: Martin Short meets his doppelganger. Click here for video.


Follow Toban Dyck at @tobandyck.

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