Stephen Harper talks tough over Russia action in Ukraine. As Russian actions become increasingly more aggressive in eastern Ukraine, Harper assembled a photo op Monday with the ambassadors to Ukraine, Estonia, Poland and Latvia to express his displeasure. “When a major power acts in a way that is so clearly aggressive, militaristic and imperialistic, this represents a significant threat to the peace and stability of the world and it’s time we all recognized the depth and the seriousness of that threat,” Harper said. He also announced that Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will travel to Europe for meetings with allies. Russia, however, didn’t appear to be listening to the Canadian Prime Minister. Pro-Russian activists attacked another government building in east Ukraine and Russia continues to deny that its agents are fuelling the ongoing unrest.
Finally, a deal for new military helicopters. The Canadian Press is reporting that the Canadian military may soon get its new maritime helicopters to replace its aging Sea Kings. The government is closing in on a $5.7-billion deal with Sikorsky, maker of the Cyclone helicopter, says the report. The new helicopters were first ordered in 2004, but only four of the 28 aircraft have been delivered to a base in Halifax so far.
Approximately 900 SINs stolen from Canada Revenue Agency. The CRA is blaming the Heartbleed bug for allowing someone to steal 900 social insurance numbers from its online tax filing system. The theft came after the Heartbleed bug—a flaw in a commonly used encryption software—was publicized, but before the CRA temporarily shut down its site to fix the security gap. Service to the CRA site was restored Sunday. Anyone who was affected will find out via a registered letter and the CRA will offer them free access to credit protection services. As news of the stolen SINs comes to light, a security expert warns that additional thefts are likely; an estimated two-thirds of all servers were affected by the bug.
Swimmer Michael Phelps un-retires. The American swimmer and owner of a record-holding 22 Olympic medals (18 of them golds) is plunging back into the pool for a meet in Arizona on April 24-26. The competition will mark Phelps’s first since he retired after the 2012 London Games. While there is already speculation that Phelps, 29, will compete at the Rio Summer Olympics in 2016, his coach cautioned against thinking too long-term. “I think he’s just going to test the waters a little bit and see how it goes,” coach Bob Bowman told the Associated Press. “I wouldn’t say it’s a full-fledged comeback.”
Pulitzer Prize winners announced. The Guardian US and The Washington Post picked up a 2014 Pulitzer for their work on the Edward Snowden story and National Security Agency surveillance. The Boston Globe netted a win in the breaking news category for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers. The top fiction prize went to Donna Tartt for her bestselling novel The Goldfinch.