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✨ Good morning! Today is Friday, May 17, 2019, and this is one matchup we never “Saw” coming. 😂
BULLETIN: THE UNOFFICIAL START OF SUMMER
• The Background
While the weather has just recently warmed up to spring-like temperatures, we’ve had our sights firmly set on summer since the beginning of May. The “May two-four” long weekend (sorry, East Coast) has always marked the beginning of the summer season for Canadians.
And since we also have our sights firmly set on another type of two-four (they just go together so perfectly), we’ll be sleeping in on Monday. Before we sign off, we’re sending you off with this week’s top feel-good news stories. (And you thought nothing could make you happier than an extra day off.)
• Super Coral
While most of the oceans’ coral reefs have been dying off (😭), a set of corals off Hawaii’s Kāne’ohe Bay haven’t let rising temperatures and acidic water get them down. Scientists are calling them “supercorals” and they even survived a major sewage leak into the bay more than 30 years ago, proving that if global warming thinks it’s taking them out, it’s got another thing coming. More than half the world’s coral reefs are already gone, but marine biologist Christopher Jury of the University of Hawaii said, “If we seriously reduce the rate of climate change and the intensity of local stressors, we can still give the survivors a chance.” The coral reef in Kāne’ohe Bay currently covers up to 95% of the ocean floor, and researchers are finding similarly resilient coral reefs elsewhere. Still, if climate change continues at its current rate, even these will die off. (So good news and bad news.) Discover
• Canada: Fun Times Ahead
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has his hands full with oil issues, but he’s still making time for the important things — namely, booze. Just in time for the long weekend, Kenney announced that his government is ending the “war on fun” and relaxing the regulations around liquor consumption in municipalities and provincial parks. What does that mean exactly? Well, as of this weekend, Albertans will be able to consume alcohol in all of the province’s eight provincial parks. (Previously, there was a complete ban over the May long weekend.) And this is just the start of the good news: Later this summer, Albertans will be able to drink in select provincial park day-use picnic sites and the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis regulations have been amended to allow event organizers to serve drinks wherever they see fit on festival grounds. Global News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We very much regret what is happening, particularly in the United States, where they are moving backwards in terms of defending a woman’s right to choose.”
– Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, stands firm on the federal government’s stance on abortion, and criticizes the U.S. (shame on you, Alabama and Missouri) for the recent changes its made to abortion laws. CTV News
• Choose Chobani
Turns out yogurt isn’t just good for your bones, but good for your soul, too. After news spread that a school district in Rhode Island was cutting certain low-income, in-debt students off from its hot lunch program (they’d be getting a sunflower seed and jelly sandwich instead), the CEO of Chobani knew he had to step in. Founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya (who’s also a parent) is covering US $47,650 of the US $77,000 debt, to make sure that every child has “access to naturally nutritious and delicious food,” which Ulukaya said should be “a right, not a privilege.” In addition to paying off more than half the debt, Chobani is donating cups and yogurt to the school. CNN
• Not-So-Silent Reading
Google wants to make the world a better place — one bookworm at a time. The company’s new app, Rivet, uses voice processing technology to help kids learn to read, featuring more than 25 translation options for non-native speakers. The app’s advanced speech tech also features an in-app assistant to help children when they stumble over a word. Kids can click on words to hear how they’re pronounced or speak it aloud to check if they’re saying it right. (If only we’d had this when we were learning the word “organism.” 😳) The app has more than 2,000 free books, and is available on the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store. MobileSyrup
• Track & Field: The Pursuit of Happiness
We officially have a new role model, and her name is Anya Sifuentes. The high school athlete was faced with a devastating obstacle back in October when her family not only lost their home, but Anya became the sole provider for her siblings and nephew when her mom walked out on them. Despite this adversity, she managed to work part-time jobs and care for her family in a new apartment all while attending school and track practice. The teen athlete soon caught the eye of college scouts and was offered a scholarship to run for the University of the Ozarks, which she accepted. Her high school track coach Jeff Smith said, “I don’t know that I’ve ever met another kid who can do what she’s done and endure what she’s endured and do it with a smile.” (Excuse us while we go ugly sob.) CBS News
• Moves Like Jagger
Break out your old band T-shirts – the Rolling Stones have put the Canada Day weekend back on their tour schedule. The concert on June 29 at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, Ont., was originally postponed when Mick Jagger underwent heart surgery earlier in the year, but a recent video of the rock legend dancing showed fans he was ready to perform once again. The No Filter tour was originally meant to start in Miami on April 20 but will now kick off on June 21 in Chicago. A new New Orleans show has been added to the tour, and tickets sold for the original No Filter tour will be honoured. (Fans who can’t attend the new dates can get refunds through their Ticketmaster accounts.) CTV News
• Come Together
May 17 is also known as the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. This year marks the 14th anniversary of the international event, which is now celebrated in 132 countries around the world.
⚡️ SOME REAL NEWS
Just because we’re in long-weekend mode doesn’t mean the rest of the world is…
• After a tight race, Premier Dwight Ball and the Liberals will form another government in Newfoundland and Labrador.
• It appears two of Canada’s top airlines are set to become one. Air Canada has entered into exclusive talks to purchase Air Transat.
• Another (yes, another!) Democrat has entered the 2020 race: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is officially running for president.
• China is not playing. It just charged two detained Canadians (Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig) with espionage.
• After sweeping the Carolina Hurricanes, the Boston Bruins are heading backto the Stanley Cup Final.
• Ring the Bell
And here we thought our taco obsession was unhealthy…