We tell you five things you need to know this morning that aren’t April Fools’ jokes.
1. Gazprom punishes Ukrainians. Discounted gas prices are a thing of the past, as Russian giant Gazprom hiked export prices by more than 40 per cent. The old price, $268.50 per 1,000 cubic metres of gas, was part of a package offered to Ukraine when ousted president Viktor Yanukovich turned away from closer relations with the European Union. Gazprom explains the new price, $385.50, as penance for unpaid debts amounting to US$1.7 billion.
2. Chinese democracy, for real. The fishing village of Wukan went to the polls yesterday, hoping to elect a slate of local representatives for the second time. The village famously held elections in 2012 after prolonged anti-corruption protests that kicked then-political leaders to the curb. The Globe and Mail reports that the village chief elected two years ago, Lin Zuluan, was on pace to win again. Wukan wasn’t universally enthused about the vote, but then again, which electorate is?
3. CIA spies went rogue. That’s the alleged conclusion of a 6,300-page U.S. Senate report into the secretive agency’s interrogation program. The Washington Post, which spoke to myriad anonymous officials, reports that interrogators unleashed unapproved techniques—allegedly dunking a prisoner’s head in ice water, in one instance—that didn’t even reveal useful intelligence. The Post says CIA agents dispute the report’s claims. Americans who want to read the report themselves will have to hope U.S. President Barack Obama declassifies the report.
4. Ehud Olmert took bribes. The 68-year-old former Israeli prime minister was convicted of taking $160,000 from developers while he was mayor of Jerusalem. The guilty verdict was just one of several handed out years after the construction of the Holyland residential complex. Hillel Cherney, who owned the complex, was convicted of bribery. Olmert will appeal the verdict, but he could end up spending up to seven years behind bars.
5. Six people died in Nairobi explosions. The madness erupted in suburban Eastleigh, known as Little Mogadishu, and al-Shabab militants took the early blame for the apparent bombings of restaurants—though the terrorist group responsible for last year’s deadly mall rampage didn’t take responsibility. Nigerian authorities arrested a remarkable 200 suspects in the wake of the attack, which also wounded 25 people.