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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.


Appeal process granted in Pistorius case

Judge Thokozile Masipa has ruled that prosecutors can appeal the case of the shooting death of Reeva Steenkamp by Oscar Pistorius. The Paralympic athlete was acquitted of murder charges and sentenced to five years for culpable homicide for shooting Steenkamp through the closed bathroom door of his home, allegedly believing her to be an intruder. Prosecutors believe Masipa was wrong to hand Pistorius the lesser than murder charge of culpable homicide, which comes with a shorter sentence – the five years he received – and parole eligibility after 10 months served. The case will now go before South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal. [Source: BBC]

Winnie the Pooh drawing sells for half a million at London auction

EH Shepard’s famed 1928 drawing of Winnie the Pooh has sold for £314,500, or CAD$565,000, at auction in London, bringing in three times the expected amount. “For a long time they looked at the river beneath them” is one of the most well-known depictions of the Winnipeg-based bear. And this drawing also includes Pooh’s fellow storybook characters Piglet and Christopher Robin. Shepard’s work captures them playing Poohsticks together for chapter six of AA Milne’s second book, “The House at Pooh Corner.” [Source: BBC]

Rights groups, UN, call for arrests following CIA torture report

The specific types, forms, and instances of torture the CIA executed during the Bush-era were revealed in a report issued by the U.S. Senate intelligence committee Tuesday. The details were there, and they were hard to read. The CIA tortured detainees in their secret prisons across the world, says the report. And the kinds of torture they used were even more extreme than previously known. In some cases, CIA officials used techniques such as “rectal rehydration,” “rectal feeding,” sleep deprivation that in some instances lasted almost a week, and threatened the wives and children of detainees. Amnesty International, the UN, and legal experts are calling for U.S. President Barack Obama to prosecute the officials responsible for the CIA torture programme. “Today’s release once again makes crystal clear that the US government used torture. Torture is a crime and those responsible for crimes must be brought to justice,” Amnesty International USA’s executive director, Steven W Hawkins, said in a statement. “Under the UN convention against torture, no exceptional circumstances whatsoever can be invoked to justify torture, and all those responsible for authorising or carrying out torture or other ill-treatment must be fully investigated.” [Source: The Guardian]

The sun is the only cause of global warming, says Friends of Science

Global warming is caused by sunshine, and not humans, according to a billboard prominently displayed during Montreal’s Santa Claus parade. The ad was paid for by Friends of Science and it read: “Le soleil est le principal facteur du changement climatique. Pas vous. Pas le CO2,” reads the billboard, seen by “300,000 people” on the day of the Santa Claus Parade. The translation reads, “The sun is the main cause of climate change. Not you. Not C02.” The group, Friends of Science, is based out of Calgary and its goal is to educate the public on how “the sun is the main direct and indirect driver of climate change.” Quebec media have been busy poking fun at the group, which was at one point funded by an Alberta oil and gas company. [Source: Press Progress]

Ebola caregivers named Person of the Year: Time Magazine

Time magazine names Ebola fighters as its Person of the Year for 2014, said editor Nancy Gibbs on the Today Show Wednesday morning. The Ferguson protestor took the No. 2 spot. And Vladimir Putin took No. 4. [Source: NYDailyNews]

Honourable mention: In the clip below, two hikers, Tomas Nunuk and friend, find a secluded, frozen lake in Slovakia’s High Tatras Mountains that is so clear and presumably clean, it looks like they’re waking on water.

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Follow Toban Dyck at @tobandyck.

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