Back for seconds

The results from last night's federal election, more drama with Julian Assange and Facebook attempts to take a stand against fake news.

Back for seconds

The results from last night's federal election, more drama with Julian Assange and Facebook attempts to take a stand against fake news.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks to supporters during a rally held late Saturday evening at the Magnolia Banquet Hall during the last days of the federal election campaign. Saturday, October 19, 2019. Brendan Miller/Postmedia

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✨  Good morning!  Today is Tuesday, October 22, 2019, and this throne is fit for a king. (You may never want to leave.)


• The Background

Canadians have spoken, and as many predicted, we have a minority government. After a 40-day campaign that saw the Liberals and Conservatives stuck in a statistical tie, it took about 30 minutes after the last polls closed on Monday night for the media to project another term for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Not long after, CBC News confirmed that it would be a minority, with the Liberals taking 157 seats, followed by 121 seats for the Conservative Party. The Bloc Quebecois secured 32 seats, followed by the NDP with 24 seats, the Green Party with a record 3 seats (two more than in the last election), and one Independent.

• What Else You Need to Know

While it’s a minority government, the party leaders won their seats, with the exception of the People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier, who lost to Conservative Richard Lehoux in the Quebec riding of Beauce. Long-time Liberal MP Ralph Goodale also lost his seat in in Wascana, Sask. But there were some big wins last night. The Bloc Quebecois picked up more than 20 additional seats (as the NDP lost about the same amount). The Green Party made history last night after Jenica Atwin became the first Green MP to be elected in Atlantic Canada (and the first outside of British Columbia), winning the Fredericton seat. Former Liberal MP Jody Wilson-Raybould, who ran as an Independent in this election following the SNC-Lavalin scandal, also secured her B.C. seat in the riding of Vancouver Granville. 

• What’s Next?

During the election campaign, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh suggested he would consider a coalition with other parties, including the Liberals, to stop the Conservatives. But he did walk that back a bit in the last week of campaigning, so we’ll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer may have to answer questions about his leadership after the party failed to take the lead on either a minority or majority government. As for voters, just a heads up that historically, minority governments last less than two years.


• Request Denied

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is back in the spotlight again, after a British judge denied his lawyers’ request to delay his U.S. extradition hearing by three months. Assange and his legal team wanted more time to submit evidence to disprove the multiple charges against him, including 17 new counts under the Espionage Act for publishing highly sensitive information with the help of former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. Assange struggled to string sentences together at the hearing, claiming he “can’t think properly.” The full extradition case will begin on Feb. 25, 2020. The Guardian


• Prime Minister Problems

Amid ongoing political turmoil, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surrendered yesterday after his final attempt to form a government failed, paving the path for Benny Gantz to try to become the nation’s new leader. Since last month’s federal election, Netanyahu has been unable to form a 61-seat majority coalition in Parliament, leaving Gantz 28 days to do so. It’s still unclear whether Gantz and his Blue and White party have a better chance of succeeding. If Gantz fails, Israelis would be forced to head to the poll for a third time. New York Times

• World: About Time

Northern Ireland has officially brought its laws in line with the rest of the U.K. Up until midnight yesterday (when the amendment went into effect), Northern Ireland’s traditionally conservative government upheld firm laws against abortion for more than 158 years. British lawmakers voted in favour of lifting the region’s outdated abortion ban a year ago, deeming the restrictions incompatible with the U.K.’s dedication to human rights. The regulatory change has set the stage for the legalization of same-sex marriage in January. Washington Post 


“It’s about rehabilitation and getting people straight.”

– Cuyahoga County prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley, on reaching a last-minute $260-million settlement yesterday between four drug companies and two Ohio counties to circumvent what would have been the first federal opioid trial. NBC News


• Bidding for HBC

A takeover bid for iconic Canadian retail giant Hudson’s Bay Co. was accepted by HBC’s board of directors yesterday after investors sweetened the pot. A group led by HBC executive chairman Richard Baker raised the offer price to $10.30 a share, up from the $9.45 a share they offered in June. The new offer values the 350-year-old retailer at $2.6 billion. What happens next? The buyout still needs to be approved by shareholders, including the majority of HBC’s minority shareholders, and 75% of shareholders who will vote at a special meeting that the company says will take place in December. Globe and Mail


• Stop the Spread

In an effort to help mitigate the spread of misinformation and fight election interference, Facebook has rolled out new tools and policy changes. “Facebook Protect” includes a collection of features to secure election candidates’ accounts, plus a tracking tool to let users see how much time U.S. presidential candidates are spending on Facebook. Photos, posts and videos that are potentially false will be labelled as such, and advertising guidelines will include a ban on ads that favour certain political parties. Separately, the platform also removed four networks of accounts based in Iran and Russia that were allegedly misleading users about their identities and sharing inflammatory political news. The Verge


• Tennis: Rising Through the Ranks

Bianca Andreescu has made us proud yet again, officially becoming the highest-ranked Canadian tennis player ever in WTA tour history. The 19-year-old superstar jumped a spot to fourth place, pushing her one spot ahead of her career-best ranking, which tied the Canadian record with Eugenie Bouchard in 2014. Andreescu is next scheduled to play at the WTA Finals, which start this Sunday in Shenzhen, China. Global News


• Ho-Ho-Ho

Everyone’s favourite crazy rich family is heading to the small screen — kind of. Yesterday, HBO Max (the network’s upcoming streaming service) revealed that it had ordered a new Crazy Rich Asians-style docu-series called The Ho’s. The first season will consist of eight half-hour episodes, and will follow the life of Binh Ho and his wife, Hue Ho, two Vietnamese immigrants who built an empire in the U.S. (think a multi-million dollar bank and a real estate development company). The show will also feature the couple’s children, Judy Ho and Washington Ho. Variety 


• ISIS Hearts TikTok

Forget #richkidcheck and #hotmomcheck… TikTok is doing an #ISIScheck as the terrorist organization makes moves on the platform — and not the kind that make you want to lip sync to Lizzo. According to the Wall Street Journal, videos of corpses being paraded through the streets and women proclaiming they are “jihadist and proud” (sorry, LGBTQ2) have been posted on the platform set to catchy music with heart icons. (We’ll say this, they did their homework.) TikTok didn’t waste time removing two dozen accounts linked to the Islamic State — some with more than 1,000 followers. Next, maybe TikTok can focus on removing those posts by anyone over 35 trying to talk to teens about adulting? Wall Street Journal


• Wavin’ Flag

In the spirit of patriotism, 55 years ago today, an all-party Parliamentary Committee selected the design which ultimately became the official flag of Canada. 


• Residents in Dallas are struggling with the aftermath of a damaging tornado, which plowed through the city and left tens of thousands of people without power

• The unrest continues in Chile. The death toll rose to at least 11 yesterday amid violent protests over a proposed public transport ticket-price surge.

• Several Scotiabank customers are dealing with mislabelled transactions due to a technical issue that’s expected to be corrected within 72 hours. 

• Monica Lewinsky is trying her hand at producing, taking the helm of a new documentary about public shaming


• Seeing Double

How did we never notice this?

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Feature image by isafmediaFlickr: 120528-N-TR360-003, CC BY 2.0, Link