We tell you five things you need to know this morning.
1. An Egyptian judge sentenced 683 people to death. Last month, Judge Saeed Youssef sentenced 529 alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death for the killing of a policeman. Today, he confirmed the sentences of 37 of those defendants, and separately sentenced hundreds more to death. Youssef must confirm every sentence after receiving secret advice from Egypt’s leading religious official, the Grand Mufti of Al Azhar. That process could produce more than 1,200 executions—a crackdown not wholly condemned by Egyptians.
2. A Ukrainian mayor was shot in the back. Hennadiy Kernes is the mayor of the eastern city of Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest metropolis. The circumstances of the shooting, which have left him fighting for his life in hospital, remain unknown. Kernes was a critic of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s ouster but publicly opposes any Russian annexation of Ukrainian territory. He was allegedly shot while jogging.
3. Derek Nepinak opposes an education bill. That aboriginal leaders disagree about legislation meant to reform First Nations education isn’t surprising; political leaders across the country disagree all the time, and aboriginal leaders are no different. But opposition to the reform bill from several provincial grand chiefs—including Nepinak of Manitoba—is nevertheless a headache for Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo, who’s caught between a federal government often closed to compromise and chiefs who refuse to give ground on their own rights.
4. Tornadoes rip through America’s south. Seventeen people died when a massive storm spawned a series of crushing tornadoes in Oklahoma and Arkansas. The largest of the twisters struck west of Little Rock, Arkansas’s capital, killed at least 16 and destroyed a $14-million school set to open later this year. That tornado spanned 800 metres at its widest point. The worst news for southerners spared yesterday: the tornado risk is high again today.
5. Dani Alves neutralizes racism. The 30-year-old Brazilian defender on FC Barcelona was lining up a corner kick when a fan threw a banana on the field. Alves, with impressive poise, trotted the few feet to the banana, picked it up, peeled it and scarfed it down. He then continued the play. Alves told reporters that he’s faced racism in Spain before. “You have to take it with a dose of humour,” he said. “We aren’t going to change things easily.”