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In today's Morning Brief, Russia is pressing its offensive in eastern Ukraine.

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Russian forces attacking along entire eastern front, Ukraine says

Russian forces attacked along a broad front in Eastern Ukraine on Tuesday as part of an offensive to take control of the country's eastern industrial heartland. 

Ukrainian officials are calling it a "new phase of the war." Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24.

Ukraine's General Staff said Russian forces are focusing their efforts on taking full control of the Donbas region. 

"The occupiers made an attempt to break through our defences along nearly the entire front line," the General Staff said in a statement early Tuesday.

WATCH | Finding refuge in a Ukrainian city as Russian troops inch closer: 

Finding refuge in a Ukrainian city as Russian troops inch closer

2 months ago
Duration 2:38


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday in a video address that a "significant part of the entire Russian army is now concentrated on this offensive."

"No matter how many Russian troops are driven there, we will fight," Zelensky vowed. "We will defend ourselves."

After its initial attempt to sieze Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, failed, Russia has said its main goal is now to capture the Donbas. 

Separatists backed by Moscow have been fighting Ukrainian forces for eight years in the mostly Russian-speaking region. The separatists have declared two independent republics, which have been recognized by Russia.

Russian forces are reported to have made several gains, including the city of Kreminna. That brings the Russians closer to the city of Slovyansk, which was seized by pro-Russian fighters in 2014, but retaken by Ukrainian forces months later. 

Read the full story here.

First to the finish

(Charles Krupa/The Associated Press)

Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya reacts after winning the women's division of the 126th Boston Marathon on Monday. Read more on the results of the race here.

In brief

An Ottawa man who filed his taxes early has discovered more than one nasty surprise. Not only does Enrique Rosado owe much more than he thought, his bill shows the 65-year-old has probably been targeted in what experts call a "synthetic identity" scam. In late March, Rosado received a reassessment notice from the Canada Revenue Agency. The letter said a Toronto-area business's tax filings indicated that he earned $31,388 he hadn't disclosed in his tax filing. Not only does Rosado say he doesn't work for Ontario 1975945 Ltd, as CRA insists, he has never heard of the numbered company, nor visited its Toronto address. The last job held by the now-retired building superintendent was a modest one at a ByWard Market highrise. He filed taxes showing work income of about $45,000. Rosado suspects his social insurance number was stolen, and the mysterious numbered company fraudulently issued a T4 in his name. When he alerted CRA to the mistake, he said it advised him he could only avoid paying the new $2,842 tax bill if he contacted the numbered company and directed it to issue a corrected T4. Frustrated, Rosado said the CRA needs to better protect taxpayers from scammers. Read the full story here.

Former Alberta justice minister Jonathan Denis and his ex-law partner Dale Fedorchuk have been accused of conflict of interest in connection with the Kamikaze campaign investigation — and of making one client "the scapegoat" for another: United Conservative Party heavyweight Jeff Callaway. The allegation came out in an interview Cameron Davies, Callaway's former communications director, gave to the Office of the Election Commissioners (OEC) as part of its probe into Callaway's 2017 UCP leadership campaign. He also accused the two lawyers of breaching solicitor-client privilege, details of which are contained in the OEC investigator's interview transcript and summary obtained by CBC News. The Callaway campaign would become known in Alberta as being set up to benefit now-Premier Jason Kenney's bid for leadership of the newly united party. It did so by attacking Kenney's chief political rival, former Wildrose leader Brian Jean. Callaway would go on to sacrifice his own leadership aspirations by dropping out of the race, Kamikaze-style, after attempting to inflict damage on Jean's support. Read more on this story here

At this time of year, you can count on two things in Vancouver: branches drooping with cherry blossoms — and urban parks filled with honking Canada geese, leaving trails of droppings as they waddle about. By day's end, one gander — pooping every 10 to 20 minutes — can produce a pile of feces as heavy as a cabbage. But Vancouver is just one city grappling with the controversial headache of how to manage growing populations of the protected bird. Conservationists would prefer people give the birds space to nest, make the landscape less attractive to them or consider giving them birth control. Meanwhile, wildlife technicians use a variety of techniques, from egg switching to scaring the birds with predators, to deal with the messy gaggles gathering in populated spotsRead more on this story.

Walk into almost any Canadian grocery store and you smell it. Delicious, juicy, rotisserie chicken. It's just sitting there, like a beacon, promising shoppers a hearty meal they don't have to cook or clean up after. The pre-cooked birds are priced between $8 to $12 at larger grocery chains in Canada, but barring a sale in the meat department, raw chickens can often cost more per bird at those same grocery outlets. The lower price of rotisserie chickens compared to raw at many stores is despite the additional cost of spices, packaging, labour and energy for the convenient meal. So, what the peck is going on? CBC Radio's The Cost of Living dove into the henhouse to find out. Read more here.

LISTEN | Why does a rotisserie chicken cost less than buying a chicken you have to cook yourself? 

Some major U.S. airlines and airports have dropped their masking policy after a federal judge in Florida on Monday struck down a national mask mandate on airplanes and mass transit. The Transportation Security Administration said Monday night it would no longer enforce the mask requirement. United Airlines said that, effective immediately, masks would no longer be required on domestic flights or certain international flights. Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines made similar announcements. Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, the largest U.S. union of cabin crews, said it takes 24 to 48 hours for airlines to put new procedures in place and tell employees about them. She said passengers should check with airlines for updates about travel requirements. Some airports, in Los Angeles, Houston and Dallas, did away with their masking requirements. New York City's public transit system said it will keep its mask requirement in place, while the system in Washington, D.C., said masks will now be optional. Read the full story here.

The Toronto Raptors are down two games in their first-round playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers after losing 112-97 last night in Philly. The 76ers' Joel Embiid – the NBA scoring champion this season – netted 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the way for his team. OG Anunoby had 26 points for the Raptors, who were without prized rookie Scottie Barnes, who suffered a sprained ankle in Game 1. An ailing Gary Trent Jr., started the game but played only nine minutes. Toronto was behind by 27 points at one point before they cut the 76ers' lead to 11. "One thing about this team all season, we never quit, we're pretty good at facing adversity, we've responded to challenges throughout the year and you've got to love the fight and effort from guys," Toronto guard Fred VanVleet said. "As long as there's time on the clock, we're going to continue to fight and scrap." The best-of-seven series now switches to Toronto for Game 3 on Wednesday, the first playoff basketball at Scotiabank Arena since Game 5 of the NBA Finals in 2019. Read the full story here.

WATCH | Raptors down 2-0 after another big loss in Philly: 

Raptors down 2-0 after another big loss in Philly

2 months ago
Duration 1:17

Now for some good news to start your Tuesday: Some engineering students have figured out how to convert all-terrain vehicles to solar power and hope it will benefit Indigenous and remote communities in Canada's North. Henry Penn of the Arctic Institute of North America's Kluane Lake Research Station, 220 kilometres northwest of Whitehorse, wanted to find a way to convert a gas-powered Kubota mid-sized utility vehicle used at the station to an electric motor. Students from the University of Calgary's Schulich School of Engineering — Jasmine McDermott, Austin Bercier, Wylie Pietsch, Marlin Sako, Alejandro Sulbaran and Natasha Eden — jumped at Penn's request. McDermott, who is of Cree descent, and Bercier, who is Métis, had been hoping to find a project that would allow them to give something back to their communities. "We wanted to do a project that was relevant to us," said McDermott. Read more on this story here.

Opinion: The pandemic showed us that we still need libraries, even with Google

A pandemic might close a library, but it can't stop librarians. They were still finding new ways to remind us that libraries are about connections and experiences, writes Heidi LM Jacobs. Read the column here.

First Person: I'm a radio journalist who is passionate about sound. Now I'm losing my hearing

'I am losing my hearing. And it marked the moment I started fearing the looming end of my vital link to the world I love — that of radio journalism,' writes Kamloops, B.C.-based journalist Jennifer Chrumka. Read the column here.

Front Burner: Presidency within far-right's grasp in France

On Sunday, French citizens will go to the polls to choose their next president. They have two choices: incumbent Emmanuel Macron, who is seen by many to have handled crises, like the pandemic, well but has struggled to shake the perception that he is out of touch and elitist.

Or, longtime far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who has worked hard to reimagine her party, even though many of the core ideas — especially about immigration reform — remain. 

Some polls have the pair only a few percentage points apart — much closer than when they faced off in 2017. 

Sarah White, a Paris correspondent for The Financial Times, joins us to discuss why the race is so tight, and what it could mean if Le Pen wins.

Today in history: April 19

1904: Fire rages through downtown Toronto, causing an estimated $10 million in damage and destroying more than 100 buildings. 

1907: Tom Longboat, from Ontario's Six Nations Onondaga Reserve, becomes the first Canadian to win the Boston Marathon. 

1994: A Los Angeles jury awards Rodney King $3.8 million US in damages for his 1991 beating by police.

2005: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany is elected Pope in the first conclave of the new millennium. The 78-year-old cardinal, who chose the name Benedict XVI, was installed as the 265th Pope on April 24. 

With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters

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