We tell you five things you need to know this morning.
1. Putin still has allies. The Group of Eight booted Russia from its membership until further notice, and the western bloc may sanction Russia’s petroleum sector. But an influential group of five emerging economies, known as the BRICS, oppose both sanctions on Russia and the west’s inflamed rhetoric in the wake of Crimea’s annexation. Brazil, India, China and South Africa are standing by their man, Putin, for now.
2. Space is a politics-free zone. Alexander Skvortsov, Oleg Artemyev and Steve Swanson are too busy getting to space to worry about diplomatic feuds between their respective governments. Skvortsov and Artemyev, both Russian, will join Swanson, an American, on an upcoming journey to the International Space Station. Chris Hadfield, the popular retired astronaut who lived on the ISS for six months, said science, and survival, trump politics. “We’re in this together up there, and for each other we are the last people on Earth,” he told CBC.
3. Taliban attack Afghanistan’s elections commission. Suicide bombers were the only people killed after a coordinated attack on the Kabul compound that sits beside the home of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. Some of the attackers breached the compound’s walls, trapping election workers inside. The country goes to the polls on April 5, and today’s attack in the capital is only the most recent in the Taliban’s protracted effort to disrupt the election.
4. The Arab League is at odds over the Muslim Brotherhood. Kuwait, the host of the two-day summit, is urging unity. “The dangers around us are enormous and we will not move towards joint Arab action without our unity and without casting aside our difference,” said Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah. Al Jazeera quotes Arab officials as speculating that some nations will pressure Qatar to cuts its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt and Saudi Arabia dismiss as a terrorist organization.
5. A Canadian is suffering from Ebola-like symptoms. The patient, who is in hospital in Saskatchewan and recently returned from a trip to Liberia, could be fighting a viral hemorrhagic fever. That could include ebola, which recently broke out in Guinea, which shares a border with Liberia.