Need to know

Your morning five: Harper talks tough on Russia

Stephen Harper follows up a weekend trip to Ukraine with a high-stakes G8 meeting, minus Russia, in The Netherlands

Sean Kilpatrick/CP

Sean Kilpatrick/CP

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

1. Stephen Harper has no love lost for Putin. Harper, who spent the weekend in Kyiv before heading to The Netherlands for a meeting of the Group of Eight (sans Russia), is pulling no rhetorical punches as he pushes for the ejection of Russia from the G8 and a united front on the part of western powers to Russian aggression. Few world leaders have condemned Putin so strongly. Harper will report to his colleagues on what he discovered on his weekend sojourn to Ukraine.

2. Mohamed Fahmy gets medical attention. Doctors will examine the jailed Egyptian-Canadian journalist’s fractured arm. The news came in the form of a letter from Egypt’s acting president, Adly Mansour, who wrote to Fahmy’s parents that he has “confidence that your son will get all his legal rights.” Fahmy continues to fight terrorism-related charges. Meanwhile, Egyptian courts sentenced 529 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death.

3. A mudslide kills eight in Washington state. The mile-wide disaster’s death toll may continue to rise, as more than a dozen people remain missing and rescuers lose hope. The county fire chief told a press conference yesterday that no survivors had been detected since Saturday. The slide demolished 30 homes in the vicinity of the Stillaguamish River. The same hillside partially collapsed in 2006.

4. Turkey shoots down a Syrian warplane. The aircraft was alleged to have entered Turkish airspace. The aircraft’s pilot, who was recovering in hospital, told Al Jazeera he was seven kilometres clear of the border, concluding a mission in Syria. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made no effort at diplomacy. “If you violate my airspace, our slap after this will be hard,” he told a massive crowd of supporters in Istanbul.

5. The feds want to fine unsafe beef producers. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said the financial penalties, which range from $2,000 to $15,000, “demonstrate” the government’s “commitment” to a secure food supply. Not surprisingly, an industry representative disagrees with the move. The Canada Meat Council “does not believe there is a necessity for yet another enforcement tool” and wonders why the meat-processing sector is being singled out. Let’s make two guesses.

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