5 at 5: Will the Panthers keep their top pick on NHL draft day?

Also: Thailand sets a date for its democratic election and a new test for breast cancer

Finland's goalie Juuse Saros keeps his eyes on the puck under pressure from Canada's Sam Reinhart during first period semi-final IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship action in Malmo, Sweden on Saturday, January 4, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Finland’s goalie, Juuse Saros, keeps his eyes on the puck under pressure from Canada’s Sam Reinhart during first-period semifinal IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship action in Malmo, Sweden, on Jan. 4, 2014 (Frank Gunn/CP)

It’s NHL draft day. As newsworthy as it was that the Cleveland Cavaliers chose Andrew Wiggins, the second consecutive Canadian to be picked No. 1 overall in the NBA draft, there will be no such drama tonight. Whoever keeps the top pick—the Florida Panthers are said to be shopping their selection—will be picking a Canadian first for the fifth time in six years. The talent, though, is hardly blah: There’s Sam Reinhart, the well-rounded playmaker with the excellent lineage; there’s Samuel Bennett, the skilled kid with the soft hands but possibly weak arms; you’ve got Aaron Ekblad, the smooth defenceman craved by the Edmonton Oilers, who have proven to be reliable constants as one of the top teams at the draft/worst teams in the league. The draft gets under way tonight at 7 p.m. EST. Check back to Macleans.ca for full coverage from our national reporter Charlie Gillis.

Thailand’s military ruler sets election for October 2015. It’s safe to say that Thai Army commander Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha isn’t committed to a speedy return to democracy in the country where he seized power in a coup in May. Prayuth said, in a televised speech on Friday, that the country will hold its next democratic election in October 2015. In the meantime, Prayuth and the military seem intent on rewriting the Thai constitution. Opponents are concerned that, should the military do so, it will make it less democratic.

Ukraine signs trade deal with European Union. Ukraine’s new President Petro Poroshenko signed a historic agreement on Friday that will move the country closer to the EU. The trade deal was the same one former president Oleksandr Turchynov refused to sign, prompting mass protests and, ultimately, Turchynov’s ouster. The pact comes as Ukraine and Russia have announced they will extend a ceasefire to allow more talks over the next three days. While in Brussels to sign the agreement, Poroshenko told media that the Russian government was not doing enough to end the “disastrous war” and ongoing violence in Ukraine.

Peter MacKay takes heat over failure to appoint female judges. Accusations that Justice Minister Peter MacKay is sexist continue to swirl Friday, with Opposition leader Tom Mulcair calling for MacKay’s resignation. Today’s controversy stems from the fact that the Justice Department made 13 new appointments this week, and only one of them was a woman. This is combined with news of two very different messages the minister sent to Justice staff on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. One praised mothers for changing diapers, while the message to fathers praised them for raising future leaders. And, earlier this week, the Toronto Star also ran a report that alleged MacKay made comments to a group of Ontario lawyers, saying there weren’t more female judges because not enough women apply.

British study finds blood test that could predict breast cancer risk. A simple blood test could soon predict a woman’s chance of getting breast or ovarian cancer, even if she lacks a family history of the disease. Researchers at the University College London announced they have discovered a marker in the blood of women who develop the diesase. While about 10 per cent of breast cancers are caused by an inherited gene, this test could prove invaluable to the other 90 per cent. Researchers hope the test will be available in five years.




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