Here are five of the top stories making headlines this afternoon.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former aide Bruce Carson faces more charges. RCMP laid additional charges against Carson, a one-time top advisor to Harper, on Monday. Carson now faces three counts of prohibited lobbying and one count of influence peddling. The charges relate to the lobbying Carson did for the Canada School of Energy and Environment and on behalf of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada, RCMP allege. He was previously charged with one count of fraud, but that charge was put off while Carson dealt with health problems. Carson worked for Harper when he became prime minister in 2006 and was one of the most senior staff members at the time. He left Harper’s team in 2008 to work for the Canada School of Energy and Environment and the Energy Policy Institute of Canada.
Boko Haram offers prisoner swap for kidnapped girls. The Nigerian government has viewed the latest video from Boko Haram and is now considering how to respond, a spokesperson said Monday. The Nigerian Islamic militant group released video of the 200 schoolgirls it kidnapped a month ago, giving its new demands for the release of prisoners in exchange for the girls. The Nigerian government, which has been ciriticized for its failure to find the girls nearly a month after they were first abducted while writing a final exam, told Reuters Monday that two foreign counter-terrorism units are on the ground in the country and this makes him optimistic that the girls will be found and released.
India finishes voting. Indians wrapped up the final day of voting in the country’s parliamentary election Monday and Narendra Modi is expected to win with a strong mandate for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Modi is a Hindu nationalist who promised economic development as his main platform plank. His election would signal a shift to the right for the country’s government. While Modi is the strong favourite to become prime minister in the world’s largest democracy, it’s still unclear weather he will earn enough votes to form the majority needed to push his promised reforms through.
Canadian speed skater Gilmore Junio to receive medal for sportsmanship. Junio became a hero during the Sochi 2014 Olympics when he gave up his own spot in the 1,000-metre event to teammate Denny Morrison, who was a medal contender but fell in the qualifying round. Morrison went on to win a silver medal. Junio is being honoured for that act on Wednesday when he will receive a medal during a ceremony at a school in Kitchener, Ont. Money for the specially designed medal, $7,000 total, was raised through the online fundraising site Indiegogo.
Donald Sterling insists he is not a racist. The Los Angeles Clippers owner, who was fined and banned from owning another NBA team for life after he was recorded making racist statements, tells Anderson Cooper that he is not racist. Sterling, 80, said he was baited into saying the things he said by V. Stiviano, who recorded their conversation. (She’s his friend, girlfriend and/or former employee, depending on who’s reporting the story.) “When I listen to that tape, I don’t even know how I can say words like that. … I don’t know why the girl had me say those things,” he told Cooper, in an interview that will air in full this evening. Even if Sterling isn’t really as racist as he comes across on the recording, he’ll still have to pay up. He owes $2.5 million, the maximum fine the NBA commissioner could dole out.