Here are five of the top stories making headlines this afternoon:
Russian military rolls into eastern Ukraine. So much for that bilateral meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko yesterday. The Russian military has now officially entered the eastern part of Ukraine, rolling military tanks and other vehicles past a southeast border crossing and taking control of the town of Novoazovsk Thursday. Poroshenko is urging citizens to remain calm. He cancelled a planned trip to Turkey to conduct emergency meetings in Kyiv with the country’s security council. The UN Security Council has also called its own emergency meeting.
Report explains flubbed StatsCan jobs numbers. Statistics Canada today released five recommendations to avoid a second mistake like the one it made in July, where it miscalculated the number of jobs created in the country, underestimating by 42,000 jobs. It appears the problems boiled down to some computer software updates that the StatsCan IT department thought were routine. As such, IT didn’t notify everyone about the testing and didn’t bother verifying that the updates had worked before sending out the final, wrong, numbers. “Communications among the team, labour analysts and senior management around this particular issue were inadequate,” the report finds.
Number of Ebola cases could top 20,000, World Health Organization warns. As the Ebola virus continues to spread in West Africa, the WHO today warned that the number of cases could reach 20,000, six times more cases than presently reported. Putting a plan in place to deal with the ongoing outbreak is complicated by the fact that there are outbreaks in several locations, WHO assistant director-general for emergency operations Dr. Bruce Aylward said Thursday. If the number of cases reaches 20,000, that could mean up to 10,000 deaths. Getting adequate health-care workers and supplies into affected areas remains a key issue, the aid group Doctors Without Borders said Thursday, as many countries have cut off transportation in an effort to halt spread of the disease.
Delayed start to school year looks likely as B.C. teachers continue strike. While most Canadian kids will be heading back to school after the September long weekend, if they’re not already in classes, it looks like B.C. students could have a few more weeks of summer vacation after Labour Day. B.C. Education Minister Peter Fassbender issued a statement Thursday asking the striking B.C. Teachers’ Federation to put its strike on hold to allow classes to start, should both sides agree to enter mediation. The teachers’ strike began in June, but negotiations largely stalled over the summer.
Hello Kitty isn’t a cat. As she celebrates her 40th anniversary the popular Japanese cartoon character Hello Kitty has some surprising news: She’s not actually a cat. Hello Kitty is a girl, the LA Times revealed in a groundbreaking interview Tuesday. “She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature,” Hello Kitty’s creator, Sanrio, told a curator who was preparing a retrospective Hello Kitty exhibit for the Japanese American National Museum. So, there you have it: Hello Kitty is a girl from the London suburbs, created in the 1970s when Japan was obsessed with all things British. As for the whiskers and cat-like ears… well… it’s easiest not to ask.