Your morning five: Is Crimea lost to the Russians? - Macleans.ca

Your morning five: Is Crimea lost to the Russians?

Also: Oscar Pistorius pleads not guilty

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Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird lays flowers at a make-shift memorial for those killed in recent violence in Kiev February 28, 2014. (Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)

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

1. Putin is a step ahead of western leaders. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his foreign minister, John Baird, reacted to Russia’s occupation of parts of the Crimea with tough talk. Canada recalled its ambassador from Moscow, summoned Russia’s ambassador to Canada, and will consider sanctions against Russian officials. NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced the military alliance will stand with Ukraine. President Barack Obama spoke to Vladimir Putin for 90 minutes, a conversation that clearly didn’t deter the Russian president. Meanwhile, Putin’s troops are on the ground in Crimea, surrounding Ukrainian military bases. Western leaders who spent the weekend talking and talking are left considering a slew of undesirable scenarios.

2. Oscar Pistorius pleads not guilty. The famous Olympian from South Africa, on trial in Pretoria, for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp on Feb.14, 2013, told a courtroom that he shot his former girlfriend to death by accident, insisting he mistook her for an intruder. The trial’s first witness, neighbour Michelle Burger, testified that she heard “terrible screams” on that Valentine’s Day morning.

3. A Canadian supply ship is stuck at sea. Last Thursday, HMCS Protecteur suffered a debilitating fire that injured 20 crewman—and left the ship dead at sea. Yesterday, as USS Chosin attempted to tow Protecteur to a naval base at Pearl Harbor, the line broke. The Navy has no timeline for the ship’s arrival in Hawaii. The bad luck comes just months after HMCS Protecteur collided with HMCS Algonquin during high-risk maneuvers in the Pacific Ocean, an accident that tore a hole across Algonquin’s port side.

4. A courtroom attack in Islamabad killed a judge. Ahmed Khan Awan was a district judge. Ten others died and 30 were injured when a pair of suicide bombers entered the courthouse and detonated explosives-laden vests. A lawyer claimed the attackers were also armed with assault rifles and hand grenades. Pakistani police called the incident an act of terrorism.

5. Server Froze is not a real person. Ontario police are investigating thousands of cases of synthetic identity fraud, a complex, years-long process that sees perpetrators create fake identities, establish strong credit ratings (often at department stores, initially), and eventually, collectively defraud Canadian companies of up to $1 billion a year. Server Froze, a clumsily named fake identity, eventually amassed a driver’s licence, bank account, and even an apartment complete with tenant’s insurance.

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