We tell you five things you need to know this morning.
1. Ukraine muscles out Kharkiv protesters. Hours after protesters seized control of administrative buildings in the southern and eastern cities of Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv, Ukrainian authorities had removed and arrested 70 protesters from Kharkiv. Russia reacted with warnings that further efforts to quell protests would only encourage civil war. NATO and American officials faced down the Russians, sending their own warnings of further alienation and sanctions if Crimea’s new rulers didn’t step down the rhetoric.
2. The Parti Québécois collapsed. Put another way, federalist Liberals—an anti-independence party, to Al Jazeera—formed a decisive majority government last night only 18 months after a defeat in the face of corruption allegations. Quebecers rejected the historical footnote that was the Quebec values charter, handing outgoing premier Pauline Marois only a quarter of the provincial vote and booting her from her own riding. The Coalition Avenir Québec improved its standing in the National Assembly, as did Québec solidaire. The PQ’s embarrassing disaster has its enemies laughing in its face.
3. Oscar Pistorius retches on the stand. The double-amputee Olympian who’s accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day 2013, maintains the killing was an accident. He continued his testimony for a second day, and attempted to recount his relationship with Steenkamp and the events that led to her death—”speaking softly,” the CBC reports, “he mostly kept his composure.” At one point, Pistorius retched in the witness box when the court showed Steenkamp’s photo.
4. Foreign workers are hard workers. Yesterday, after the CBC broke the news that a McDonald’s on the west coast allegedly favoured temporary foreign workers, parliamentarians argued in the House of Commons about who cares more for Canadian workers—and who more convincingly detests the illegal hiring of foreigners. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business now offers an alternate view. How strong is the work ethic of temporary foreign workers? “It pains me to say this, but, sometimes it is better than that of their Canadian counterparts,” said Dan Kelly, CFIB’s president.
5. Libya’s government could resign. The cabinet asked parliament for more power and a longer mandate. In the wake of former prime minister Ali Zeidan’s flight from the country, Libya’s assembly renews the government’s mandate only in short stints. That’s no longer good enough, apparently. Earlier, false news reports claimed the government had resigned. Not so, yet.