We tell you five things you need to know this morning.
1. Russia threatens the veto at the UN. To nobody’s surprise, Russia planned to stamp out a draft American motion at the UN’s Security Council that would reject the coming referendum on Crimea’s future as illegal. The motion would also call for a “peaceful solution to the Ukraine crisis based on international law.” When Russia indicated its opposition to the motion, the council delayed the vote. As the diplomats negotiated in New York City, the Russian military continued to mobilize near Ukraine’s border.
2. Alison Redford is fighting for her political life. Alberta’s premier is hoping to quell a possible caucus revolt over her own leadership sparked most recently by a taxpayer-funded trip to South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Redford eventually paid the bill after weeks of delay, but the damage was done. Dozens of her caucus members apparently feel uneasy about her leadership. Yesterday, Progressive Conservative MLA Len Webber called Redford a “bully” who’s prone to “fits of rage” and “temper tantrums.” She skipped a meeting of western premiers in Regina.
3. John Kerry gets provocative on Venezuela. Twenty-eight people have died in weeks of anti-government protests, fuelled by students in western Venezuela and countered by violent police action that’s taken its toll. The U.S. Secretary of State, preoccupied of late by Ukraine’s uncertain future, lashed out at the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. He called Maduro’s response to protest a “terror campaign against his own people.” Kerry made the remarks at a Congressional committee in Washington, D.C.
4. Aboriginal affairs could dominate Canada’s top court. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin told a group of law students at the University of Toronto that aboriginal Charter of Rights claims will comprise much of the Supreme Court’s work in coming years. The National Post reports that any enhanced focus on aboriginals has much to do with broad language in the Charter that requires interpretation, including emerging cases related to freedom of association.
5. Suicide bombers wreaked havoc on northwestern Pakistan. Eight people died abd 40 were wounded in an incident near a police station in Peshawar, a city that’s seen plenty of similar attacks since the beginning of the year—and killed 86 people before yesterday’s events, by one estimate.