Bullets are flying

Two deadly mass shootings plague the U.S., France modernizes its reproductive laws and Victoria Secret casts its first transgender model.

Bullets are flying

Two deadly mass shootings plague the U.S., France modernizes its reproductive laws and Victoria Secret casts its first transgender model.

✨  Good morning! Today is Tuesday, August 6, 2019 and if you ever need to escape prison, maybe don’t try this. 


• The Background

America is in collective mourning, after tragedy struck twice south of the border with mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. A total of 31 lives were lost over the course of two days. The Saturday shooting in El Paso has been labeled an act of domestic terrorism and the shooter has been arrested; police are still searching for a motive for Sunday’s shooting in Dayton, where the shooter was killed at the crime scene. CNN

• What Else You Need to Know

The El Paso shooter published a “manifesto” filled with anti-immigrant and racist language to the controversial website 8chan, whose users are encouraged to “embrace infamy.” The site has gone dark since the news broke. Eight Mexican nationals died in the shooting, and former President Barack Obama released a statement following the massacres in which he called on Americans to “soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments.” On the flip side, the NRA has praised President Trump’s statements following the shootings wherein he suggested the issue of gun violence was related to mental health and not the lack of background checks for carriers. The El Paso shooter faces hate crime charges as well as capital murder.

• What’s Next?

While a motive for the Dayton shooting remains unclear, a former classmate of the shooter has come forward to share that he had previously reported the shooter’s “kill list” to the police roughly ten years ago, when they were both still in high school. One of the shooter’s own relatives was apparently on the list; the shooter’s sister, Megan, was killed in Sunday’s massacre. In light of both shootings, Walmart is facing mounting pressure to cease selling firearms. In the wake of such devastation, we can only hope that, finally, Americans have had enough.


• Terror in Toronto

A tiny Canadian community of less than 500 people is living in fear, as it’s now the primary site of the ongoing manhunt for murder suspects Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod, who are charged with killing three people in British Columbia. The RCMP says officers have been unable to confirm a reported sighting of the suspects in York Landing, but urge residents to “stay inside” regardless. Officials say the search is especially difficult, since the region is covered with forests, muskeg and waterways. Global News


• French Feminism

France is stepping even further into the 21st century with a new proposed law extending medically assisted reproduction beyond heterosexual couples. Reproductive assistance is currently limited and can’t be accessed by lesbian couples or single women. (But, why?) The draft of the new bioethics law from President Macron’s government calls for France’s health care system to cover the cost of four rounds of IVF per pregnancy but does not lift the current ban on surrogacy. Since the legalization of same-sex couples to marry and adopt children together back in 2013 resulted in hundreds of thousands protesting in the nation’s capital, we’re guessing this news will cause quite the scandal. The Associated Press 


• World: Asking for Trouble

The citizens of Kashmir are reeling after waking up Monday morning to deserted streets and the news that India had revoked Kashmir’s special status. The disputed mountain region along the India-Pakistan border long enjoyed a degree of autonomy, but the largely Muslim population is now afraid that this move on the part of India’s new Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.) could spark serious violence from separatist groups. Kashmir’s special autonomy was outlined in India’s constitution; the Pakistani Foreign Ministry has condemned the B.J.P.’s actions and promised to “exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps.” The country currently faces shortages of medicine and baby food as panic intensifies. New York Times 


“I don’t think at this point in time, resignation of myself or some of my colleagues is a better solution.”

– Hong Kong leader, Carrie Lam, amid yet another weekend of violent protests calling for her resignation. The strike led to the cancellation of over 200 flights at the city’s airport. Global News


• Stock Market Mayhem

Stocks plunged nearly three percent yesterday, amid fears of a trade war between the U.S. and China. Wall Street recorded its worst day of 2019, following Trump’s accusations that Beijing was manipulating currency; the last time a country was officially labeled as such was back in 1994, when Bill Clinton did so to China. (No wonder they’re a little sensitive to the term.) His accusations refer to Beijing allowing the yuan to weaken on Monday due to market concerns and the 10% tariffs Trump just implemented on China. It could be the first sign that a trade war is in effect, and all eyes are on the White House to see what Trump will do next. CNN


• Google Goes Green

Google has pledged to incorporate recycled materials in all of its Made By Google products by 2022, and it also vowed to make all shipments carbon neutral by 2020. The tech giant claims it has already started using recycled plastic in Chromecast and plastic bottles for the fabric on Google Homes and cases. The pledge comes after Apple announced its own green initiative to use recycled materials in its products. Google has already started the initiative and is currently using a recycling partnership program that makes it easy for users to send in old Google devices. The Verge


• Secret’s Out

In a historic hire, Victoria Secret casted its first openly transgender woman to join its roster of models. A 22-year-old Brazilian model, Valentina Sampaio, has been hired for a catalog photo shoot for Victoria Secret Pink. The company also announced Ed Razek, chief marketing officer of VS’s parent organization, is retiring. Ironically, one year ago, Razek expressed disinterest in hiring transgender models, later apologizing for the ignorant remark. New York Times 


• Family Feud

Though some pet peeves are more extreme than others, loud chewing and/or throat clearing is definitely a common irritant. (It’s even earned its own name, misophonia.) Most people can deal with the temporary annoyance, cringe internally and move on. But a man named Derrol Murphy has taken it to another decibel (pun intended) He has abandoned his own family for chewing too loudly. His extreme condition has left him unable to engage with his family members for over four years, after repeated rage stemming from throat clearing and nibbling noises. (Maybe we’ll use this excuse to get out of our next family gathering.) New York Post 


• Ya Mon

Today is Jamaican Independence Day, the 57th anniversary of the country’s independence from the United Kingdom. So toast to the island life, with this delicious Jamaican rum punch.


• At least three people are dead after a major highway collision in Laval, Quebec yesterday afternoon. 

• In another deadly crash, 19 people were killed and dozens were forced to evacuate Egypt’s main cancer hospital. 

• Canadian cancer doctors are warning of national shortages for three widely-used chemotherapy drugs. 

• To add to his slew of alleged assaults, R Kelly was charged by Minnesota authorities with another two counts of prostitution and solicitation in 2001. 

• Artist Khalid announced he’ll be putting on a benefit concert in support of those affected by the mass shooting in El Paso.


• What Goes Around

This anonymous thief wouldn’t cut the mustard as a true criminal.

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