Your morning five: Ukraine moves east

Also: five Calgary students killed at year-end party

Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

We tell you five things you need to know this morning.

1. Ukraine moves east. Ukrainian forces launched an operation to reclaim control of buildings in several eastern cities that pro-Russian occupiers refused to vacate in the face of a military threat. The armed forces took back an airfield at Kramatorsk, but lost apparent control of a number of armoured personnel carriers in the same region. Russian flags sprouted from three vehicles that drove into another semi-occupied city, Slovyansk. Who exactly commandeered the personnel carriers is unclear, but one man guarding a vehicle claimed to have switched allegiance from Ukraine to Russia.

2. Five students die in Calgary. Matthew de Grood, 22, allegedly charged into a house party celebrating the last day of classes and stabbed five students to death. Joshua Hunter, Kaitlin Perras, ​Jordan Segura, Lawrence Hong and Zackariah Rathwell, all in their 20s, were the victims in what Calgary’s police chief called the worst mass murder the city had ever endured. CBC reported that Hunter and Rathwell were bandmates.

3. A South Korean ferry sinks in two hours. Danwon High School in suburban Ansan is on edge today as hundreds of its students remain missing in open seas. They were onboard a ferry, Sewol, destined for a resort island off the country’s southern coast. At some point, the ship sent out a distress call and, within two hours, capsized and submerged. Sewol carried 459 passengers. Three died and 164 have so far been rescued.

4. Foreign companies could locate search-and-rescue aircraft. The Ottawa Citizen‘s David Pugliese reports that companies bidding on a $3-billion contract will also suggest locations for the new aircraft. Pugliese concludes that the winning bid could mean “a foreign company telling the Canadian Forces where to situate its planes and people.” The Department of National Defence confirmed that scenario.

5. Abortion activists give up in New Brunswick. Henry Morgentaler, the celebrated and reviled Canadian abortion activist who died last year, fought the province’s abortion law for more than a decade. Now, activists have given up his costly fight. Morgentaler challenged a rule that says medicare only covers abortions if two doctors consider the procedure medically necessary. He called it an unfair barrier to access. Activists simply don’t have the financial resources to prolong the legal battle.

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