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✨ Good morning! Today is Wednesday, April 17, 2019 and if you know this father, speak up!
BULLETIN: NEW PREMIER, WHO DIS?
• The Background
n one of the most anticipated (and divisive) provincial elections we’ve seen, Albertans went to the polls yesterday to elect their next premier. It was a blowout of a race, with the young United Conservative Party gaining 38 seats to win 63 of the possible 87. With the big win, Albertans got themselves a majority government, with controversial leader Jason Kenney steering the ship as premier. As for the NDP (Rachel Notley’s been in hot water for months), the party lost 28 seats of its previously held 52. (However, it’ll still form the Official Opposition.) The Liberals and the Alberta party failed to lock down a single seat, keeping them out of the legislature completely. Global News
• What Else You Need to Know
With Kenney as premier, Alberta’s in for quite a bit of change (which voters are likely happy about considering the general unhappiness with the province’s economy). The UCP promised to cut the corporate income tax rate from 12% to 8% by 2022; free up regulations on pipeline approvals; reduce minimum wage for teens from $15 per hour to $13 per hour; and explore private health care options. The party also said it would scrap Alberta’s carbon tax and replace it with the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reductions program which targets the biggest greenhouse gas emitters. With the cuts come some new investments: $1 billion in Indigenous investment in natural resource projects and infrastructure, including pipelines, and $5 million to support survivors of sexual assault.
• What’s Next?
There’s sure to be an uproar over Kenney’s election, as labour groups and advocates for sexual and visible minorities have been criticizing the UCP over its homophobic, white nationalist, and misogynistic remarks and social media posts. Nonetheless, Kenney will become the next premier of Alberta. It’s not yet clear if Notley will stay on as leader of the NDP.
• Power of Words
Health Canada just removed a major step for doctors wishing to prescribe the two-step abortion drug Mifegymiso to their patients: the ultrasound requirement. Up until yesterday, patients were required to have an ultrasound in order to date the pregnancy (it only works in the first trimester) and to be sure that the pregnancy wasn’t ectopic, but that’s no longer the case. The federal agency said that the ultrasound is often a “needless barrier” that prevents women from accessing the drug in a timely manner. (Mifegymiso can be ineffective and harmful if taken after nine weeks, but it will still be up to doctors’ discretion whether an ultrasound is needed.) Mifegymiso has been available in Canada since 2015. CTV News
• Canada: Let’s Tech About It
Ottawa knows that technology makes the world go ’round — which is exactly why it’s investing $52 million in a brand spankin’ new “innovation network.” Speaking at the Communitech technology hub in Kitchener, Ont., Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed that Communitech, along with the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto and Invest Ottawa (which make up what he calls the country’s “top innovation hubs”), will work with tech companies to develop and build their businesses. The prime minster believes the program, which is being called the “Scale-up Platform,” will help 30 Ontario companies create 18,000 skilled jobs “and achieve revenues of $100 million or more by 2024.” CBC News
• Canada: Staying Tight-Lipped
Ever since DT took office, it’s seemed like he’s had it out for the AT&T-Time Warner merger. The Justice Department tried to block the deal but ultimately (after AT&T and Time-Warner won both their trial and appeal), the merger went through. Now with power in the House, Democrats are trying to get to the bottom of the political rumour mill and find out whether or not Trump purposely pushed the Democratic House Judiciary to block the deal because of his personal disdain for CNN. (At the time, the network was owned by Time-Warner.) However, the White House isn’t playing ball. Yesterday, White House counsel Pat Cipollone told DOJ leaders that he would not be releasing any “documents detailing any discussions held with the Justice Department on the AT&T-Time Warner merger,” citing executive privilege. He also told them to direct their inquiries to the DOJ, which “will be responding in due course.” (So far, no word from the DOJ.) Politico
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Then it made sense for me to have…not kids, but his kids. It was very specific to him.”
– Eva Mendes explains how meeting and falling in love with Ryan Gosling was the turning point that made her want to be a mother. (Pretty sure he’d have that effect on us, too.) Women’s Health
• Let’s Be Friends
Apple and Qualcomm have finally settled their long-fought patent dispute. (ICYMI, the two have spent the past two years pointing fingers, with Apple accusing Qualcomm of forcing an illegal monopoly on smartphone modem chips and Qualcomm alleging Apple was using its technology without paying.) The warring tech companies settled out of court as opening arguments of the lawsuit took place, with Apple basically conceding defeat with a deal that’s a major victory for Qualcomm: Apple agreed to pay an undisclosed amount and signed a six-year patent license deal and supply agreement with the chipmaker. Qualcomm’s stock value shot up a whopping 22% in afternoon trading after the news broke yesterday — its biggest jump in 19 years. Financial Post
• The Future of Fun
Another tech rivalry entered a new chapter yesterday, with Sony and Microsoft squaring off for a bit of playful competition. Both announced details of their next generation of video game consoles, but only one will (maybe) be out this year. The Playstation 5 (official name to be confirmed) will boast 8K graphics, “3D audio” for a more immersive experience and backwards compatibility for PS4 games (always appreciated). It will also replace the standard hard drive with an SSD for a boost in performance speed. Production is planned for 2020. Meanwhile, the XBox One S All-Digital Edition is rumoured to be on the fast track to launch in May (next month!) and will break the mold with a disc-free format. The new console will come preloaded with three games and have all the same specs as the current generation Xbox One S. (Game on!) The Verge
• Football: Historic Pay Day
Russell Wilson has been a critical part of the Seahawks’ success over the past few years, and the team is showing its appreciation with cold hard cash. The 30-year-old quarterback signed a four-year, $140-million contract yesterday, making him the highest paid player in NFL history. The deal also includes a $65-million guaranteed signing bonus. (Oh, is that all?) Wilson is known for revolutionizing the quarterback position (at 5’10”, he’s considered short for a QB), but his dual-sport athletic ability (he was also drafted to the MLB) and his arm, speed and sliding skills have made him one of the best players in the league. CBS News
• Playoffs update 🇨🇦
↳ The Toronto Raptors beat the Orlando Magic in game two of their series, 111–82. Game three is Friday night at 7pm ET.
↳ The Winnipeg Jets beat the St. Louis Blues in game four of their series, 2–1 (in overtime!). Game five is tomorrow night at 8:30pm ET.
• Dark & Handsome
Be still our John Cusack-loving hearts — the former teen heartthrob and actor in some 85 films (according to IMDB) has just landed his first starring role in a TV series. Cusack will star opposite Sasha Lane (American Honey) and Rainn Wilson (The Office) in Utopia, Amazon’s latest original series. But it’s not just Cusack’s star power that’s sure to make this a must-watch hit — master of dark intrigue Gillian Flynn will act as screenwriter, executive producer and showrunner for the series, which is an adaptation of a British program by the same title. The plot follows “a group of young adults who meet online that are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organization after they come into possession of a near-mythical cult underground graphic novel.” (Fans of Mr. Robot and Legion, take note.) No word yet on when the series will premiere. Deadline
• A King (or Queen)’s Ransom
With the proliferation of Game of Thrones-inspired food, drink and merchandise released this past month, we weren’t surprised to learn that guitar maker Fender wants in on the those sweet cross-promotional dollars. What does surprise us is just how many dollars it’s looking to get for its GoT-themed guitars. Sold through the Fender Custom Shop, the three one-of-a-kind high-end instruments are serious collectors’ items, featuring opulent features like hand-engraved knobs and…start at a cool US $25,000 for the House Stark Telecaster, which is cushioned with a faux-fur lining in the case. There’s also the House Lannister Jaguar, priced at US $30,000, which is painted with a 24 karat gold leaf. The priciest of the bunch is the House Targaryen Stratocaster, listed for US $35,000 and clad with what we can only assume are real dragon scales. Pitchfork
• Safe Landing
Apollo 13 returned to earth with all crew members unharmed on April 17, 1970, days after a catastrophic oxygen tank explosion forced it to abort its lunar mission.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• A soon-to-be revealed coin commemorating gay rights is already dividing the LGBT community.
• In a scare that surely sent Colorado residents into a panic, 20 schools (including Columbine) were put on lockdown yesterday after an 18-year-old armed woman made “credible” threats against the school system.
• On the heels of India’s historic election, more than 190 million Indonesians are going to the polls to elect a new president.
• Speaking of presidents, Egyptian MPs just passed several amendmentsto extend Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s rule by two years (through 2024) and allow him to run for another six-year term once his current term is up.
• The luxury beauty market in Canada is about to get some more competition: Ulta Beauty is planning a northern expansion.
• It was only a matter of time, but MTV is officially getting into the convention game, launching its first-ever RealityCon in 2020.
• Creepy Canines
Can someone ask these engineers to pretty please stop looking to Black Mirror for inspiration? kthanksbye.