Russian supporters killed as Ukrainian military moves in. If anyone was still hoping for a peaceful resolution to ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia, it certainly isn’t going to happen now. The Ukrainian military moved in on pro-Russian militants in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk Friday. The move came after pro-Russian militants shot down two Ukrainian military helicopters, killing two and wounding seven more. There is no word on the number of Russian supporters that have been killed in Sloviansk, aside from a report that there are “many dead.” In Odessa, an eastern city on the Black Sea that is the third-largest in Ukraine, mass fighting in the streets between Russian supporters and those loyal to Ukraine left at least three people dead. Meanwhile, Canada is sending 50 soldiers to Poland for military exercises with other NATO troops.
National chief of Assembly of First Nations resigns. Shawn Atleo tendered a very unexpected resignation Friday afternoon. The now former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations said he didn’t want to be a distraction in ongoing negotiations with the federal government over First Nations education. Atleo has faced criticism for supporting a Conservative bill to reform First Nations education. Critics say the bill would give the government too much power, at the expense of First Nations autonomy. “This work is too important, and I’m not prepared to be an obstacle to it or a lightning rod distracting from the kids and their potential,” Atleo told reporters in Ottawa.
Supreme Court Justice Beverley McLachlin clarifies details of Nadon consultations. The Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin released a rare public statement today, in response to comments from the Prime Minister’s Office and Justice Minister Peter McKay over the failed appointment of Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court. On Thursday, the Harper’s office released a statement suggesting McLachlin may have tried to consult with Harper about the Nadon appointment, something Justice Minister Peter McKay confirmed on Friday. McLachlin released her own statement, saying her office had, indeed, considered requesting a meeting with the prime minister over the Nadon appointment, but thought it to be inappropriate and that meeting didn’t occur. “At no time did I express any opinion as to the merits of the eligibility issue,” McLachlin said in her statement, released Friday. Ultimately, the Supreme Court decided that Nadon was ineligible to sit on the Supreme Court as a Quebec representative.
June is election time in Ontario. Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath said Friday that she would not support a budget introduced the previous day by the province’s minority Liberal government. This means Kathleen Wynne will lead the Liberals in her first-ever election as premier. Prior to Horwath’s decision, several union groups, including Unifor, said they were in favour of the budget and urged the NDP leader to support it. No such luck for Wynne, however. Ontario will go to the polls on June 12.
Mudslide buries village in Afghanistan. Hundreds or even thousands of people are feared dead after a wall of mud slid off a hill and onto a village in northeast Afghanistan Friday. The landslide occurred in Aab Barik, which is near the border with Tajikistan. The initial slide covered about 300 homes in the village, which has about 1,000 homes total. Neighbours rushed to help, but a second even larger slide covered up many of the would-be rescuers. Officials said that up to 2,500 people could be buried. “The mud is 10 to 30 metres deep, we couldn’t even reach the bodies, so we decided to just pray for them and make the site into a mass grave,” provincial governor Shah Waliullah Adib told The Guardian.