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✨ Good morning! Today is Friday, August 16, 2019, and if you ask, you shall receive.
BULLETIN: WE’RE HEATING UP
• The Background
If you found yourself sweating a little more than usual in July, we finally know why: July 2019 was the hottest month on Earth in recorded history. An independent climate monitoring organization, Berkeley Earth, revealed its findings yesterday, which are based on the data collected from “thousands of surface monitoring stations worldwide, including ocean buoys in the Pacific and land-based thermometers dotting the continents.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association confirmed Berkeley’s findings, adding that the global average surface temperature was 0.95°C warmer than the 20th century average. Washington Post
• What Else You Need to Know
But the record didn’t come out of left field. Deke Arndt, the head of climate monitoring for the NOAA, said July 2019 marked the 415th straight month that the average temperature beat the 20th century average. Almost all of Europe experienced insanely high tempertures in July, including Sweden, which set a record for the highest temperature ever seen north of the Arctic Circle. While many climate change deniers will attribute the high temperatures to natural weather cycles, the reality is there’s no El Niño event in the Pacific Ocean right now. (A patricularly strong El Niño event in 2016 contributed to that year’s unusually high temperatures.)
• What’s Next?
Ask your government representative. With this spike in weather ““almost entirely due to climate change,” now’s the time to demand action — or we may be inhabiting an unihabitable planet by the end of the century. (Let’s talk about that Paris climate agreement, shall we?)
• Setting Sail
Amid an ongoing standoff between the U.K., the U.S. and Iran, a seized Iranian oil tanker has been set free by Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, despite a fervent plea by the U.S. to halt its release. The Supreme Court in Gibraltar approved the release of the Grace 1, the Iranian tanker in question, which was seized by authorities while it was passing through territorial waters last month. The motivation behind Washington’s last-minute and unsuccessful intervention is still unknown. CNN
• Canada: Waging Wars
Alberta is reassessing its minimum wage, particularly for hospitality industry workers and servers.The assessment, which is expected to be completed early next year, is being led by a group of nine government-appointed panelists. Alberta’s current minimum wage, which was hiked by the previous NDP government to $15, is the highest in Canada. Statistics show, however, that such a high minimum wage has actually led to more Albertans struggling to find and keep jobs. CBC News
• World: Do Not Enter
Yesterday, Israel blocked two U.S. Democratic lawmakers from entering the country. Today, one will be allowed in on humanitarian grounds. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who are both outspoken critics of the Israeli government and have supported the boycott movement against the country, had plans to travel to the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem next week. It’s within the Israeli government’s power to block supporters of the BDS movement from entering the country. President Trump tweeted earlier this week that it would show “great weakness” if the pair were allowed to visit. BBC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We’re going to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
– Saskatoon city manager Jeff Jorgenson, admits his office sent $1.04 million of taxpayer dollars to a fraudster by accident. CTV News
• Grocer Goals
Grocery shopping done from the comfort of your own home? Yes, please. Walmart Canada is expanding its home delivery service to more than 200 locations across the country through the U.S.-based app, Instacart. A single delivery costs just $7.99, or you can snag the Instacart Express membership, which is $99 for the whole year. The delivery expansion is part of Walmart Canada’s recent $200-million investment into improving the in-store and online pickup experience. MobileSyrup
• Google Gets Organized
Google has two new updates. The tech giant’s launching a Google Assistant Reminders function that is pretty much a voice-activated honey-do list that you can have sent directly to bae’s phone. Reminders only work for those in the same Family Group, and you can add kids under 13 with the Family Link app. Users can block people from sending them reminders, though. (They had to come up with some way to stop those nagging Nancys.) Google Search is also expanding, adding new widgets for prospective students with info on four-year and two-year programs at U.S. schools (which will hopefully expand to other countries soon).
• From Text to TV
The texting homicide case that gripped a nation is set to become a series. Universal Content Productions has optioned the rights to The Girl From Plainville, the novel about the series of events that led to Michelle Carter standing trial in 2017 for the homicide of Carter Roy. (ICYMI, Carter made calls and sent texts to Roy that are believed to have fuelled his suicide.) Carter was eventually convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Deadline
• Waste Not
After getting called out on their wasteful inventory disposal practises (amen), Amazon is launching Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Donations, a program that gives away unwanted or unsold third-party inventory to charity. While Amazon used to discard excess inventory in landfills, they are now making this program the default option for all sellers when they choose to dispose of their inventory. The donations will be funnelled through a variety of U.S.-and U.K.-based non-profits and should vastly cut down on the amount of waste Amazon produces from unwanted inventory each year. NBC News
• Packaged Surprise
Of all the things you might want in your pants, we’re betting an alligator isn’t on the list. This isn’t the case for Ariel Machan-Le Quire, a Florida woman sentenced on four charges related to possession of illegal animals. Believe it or not, she casually pulled a one-foot alligator out of her yoga pants at a routine traffic stop. (Is that a ‘gator in your pants, or are you just happy to see us?) ABC News
• All Hail
Today marks the 42nd anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. Despite all the years that have passed, he is undoubtedly still the King.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Canada is sending a Hercules plane to Uganda to help in a UN peacekeeping mission over the next 12 months.
• .The “Hollywood Ripper” was found guilty of murdering two women, including Ashton Kutcher’s ex-girlfriend.
• A Canadian woman has been arrested for impaired driving after smashing her vehicle into a home in London, Ontario, hitting a gas line and causing a major explosion.
• Democratic candidate, John Hickenlooper, has dropped out of the 2020 presidential race.
• Famed NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family are recovering at home after their private plane went down in Tennessee.
• Rebel With a Cause
Kiss this, Dubai.