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✨ Good morning! Today is Friday, March 29, 2019 and we’re wondering why we haven’t inherited one of these.
BULLETIN: READY FOR IT
• The Background
The sh*t’s about to hit the fan in Gaza and Israel knows it. Yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel was preparing for a possible eruption of violence at its border with Gaza, after two days of rocket fire. The decision comes as Palestinian organizers announced a massive protest tomorrow to mark the one-year anniversary of the “Great March of Return” and Land Day, an annual commemoration of the strikes and marches that were organized in 1976 after the Israeli government decided to expropriate thousands of hectares in the Galilee. Globe and Mail
• What Else You Need to Know
Earlier this week, the Israeli military moved troops and armour reinforcement to the border, after the two states started exchanging rocket fire. Thanks to Egyptian mediation, the fighting has calmed down, but it’s likely to be ignited again by tomorrow’s demonstrations. Israel’s tactics at border protests have come under fire after the United Nations Human Rights Council released a report suggesting Israeli security forces may have committed war crimes by using excessive force against Palestinian protestors. Israeli security cabinet minister Arye Deri argued that said force has been necessary in order to prevent militants from infiltrating Israel’s border villages.
• What’s Next?
Hopefully, tomorrow’s protests go off without any violence. Organizers have encouraged participation but urged Palestinians to “maintain the peaceful and popular nature,” as not to give Israel any reason to resort to using military force.
• Fatal Fire
Emergency response teams have been working around the clock to rescue victims of a deadly fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. At least five people have died and another 60 were injured in the blaze, and that number’s likely going to rise, since the number of victims trapped in the 22-storey apartment building is still unknown. The Dhaka Fire Department had 21 firetrucks and more than 100 firefighters on the scene, but once again, it wasn’t enough. Just last month, 70 people were killedby a fire that consumed apartment buildings and nearby chemical warehouses in Bangladesh’s Chawkbazar area. CNN
• Canada: Race Relations
Everyone’s a little bit racist — at least, that seems to be the Coalition Avenir Quebec’s attitude behind Bill 21, a secularism bill introduced yesterday that will prohibit public sector workers from wearing or displaying “religious symbols” and simultaneously invokes the notwithstanding clause to block anyone from taking matters of rights and freedoms violations to court. (This coming from the province that has hung a crucifix over the Speaker’s chair in the national assembly since 1936, calling it a “heritage” symbol. 🙄 ) The announcement of the bill was accompanied by an (incorrect) statement from Quebec’s Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette that “Quebec is a nation. No one contests this reality and our fundamental right to decide our own future and the orientations of our society.” (Come again?) PM Trudeau was of a slightly different opinion, saying, “Quebecers, like all Canadians, are proud of living in a free and just society, and I don’t think a lot of people feel that in a free society we should be legitimizing discrimination of our citizens based on religion.” CTV News
• World: Save the Turtles
The EU is making plans to say “hasta la vista” to single-use plastics by 2021 and frankly, we’re here for it. The European Commission found that 85% of marine litter is plastic, which not only harms marine life but also ends up going full-circle to be consumed by humans. (Nobody wants to be pooping plastic.) As part of its ban on consumer plastics, which includes straws, cutlery, balloon sticks, and more, the EU is also putting member states of the European Parliament to work, requiring them to collect and recycle at minimum 90% of all beverage bottles by 2029. Tobacco companies are also chipping in on the goodwill by covering the cost of picking up cigarette butts (which are plastic, FYI). Steps like these are thought to be able to curb spending on environmental damages by more than $25 billion by 2030. (Fingers crossed the oceans last that long.) Fortune
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“They continue to attack an interim president, but we’ll continue in the streets.”
– Venezuela’s self-proclaimed president, Juan Guiado, responding to the news that Maduro’s government had banned him from public service for 15 years, after Comptroller Elvis Amoroso accused Guaido of filing false and misleading personal financial disclosure statements. Bloomberg
• Wow, That Sucks
Thousands of travellers (including Canadians) were left in a lurch yesterday after Icelandic budget carrier, Wow Air, suddenly ceased operations and cancelled all upcoming flights. The low-cost airline, which offered ultra-cheap flights between Iceland, Europe, Asia and North America, announced the closure in a statement on its website, cancelling all 27 flights scheduled to take off yesterday. (Talk about making last-minute travel plans.) Wow Air urged customers to check with their credit card companies for refunds and directed passengers to other airlines for alternative travel. Leading rival, Icelandair, is already reaping the rewards of the closure, offering reduced fares to trapped travellers. Industry experts say the news isn’t all that surprising — the airline had been trying to find a bailout or buyer for more than a year. CNN
• Baseball: The Boys Are Back in Town
There’s good news and bad news for baseball fans. The good news is that Major League Baseball is back (which means summer’s around the corner). The bad news is that the Blue Jays lost their season opener to the Detroit Tigers yesterday 2–0. With a slew of new players, league experts aren’t expecting much from the Boys in Blue this season, but that didn’t stop Canadian baseball fans from coming out in droves. (Maybe it was the new dugout deals?) And yesterday’s game didn’t give fans much to get excited about: the Jays only managed two hits, before losing in the 10th inning after Christin Stewart hit a two-run homer. The Jays are back in action Friday night. TSN
• Broadway Bride
Another iconic Disney film is headed for the bright stage lights of the big city. Princess Buttercup and her beau Westley will be making their Broadway debut when The Princess Bride becomes a musical at some point in the near future. Several stage veterans have already signed on to bring the romance to life, including composer and lyricist David Yazbek and book writers Bob Martin and Rick Elice. Though the film was slow to gain a following, star Cary Elwes says its release on VHS in 1997 really brought the iconic story to the masses. (Where would any of us be without maw-iage?) The Princess Bride will follow other Disney films that have become Broadway classics, including The Lion King, Frozen, and Aladdin. (As you wish.) Popsugar
• Beyond the Books
Not only does Peter Tabichi teach his students about science, physics and math, he also shares a more important lesson: what it means to give. Tabichi, a science teacher from rural Kenya, has been crowned the winner of the annual Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize, after donating the majority of his salary to help his struggling students stay in school. He was given a $1 million reward, defeating 10,000 other nominees from 179 countries. Tabichi teaches at a government-run, overcrowded and poorly equipped school, with students who can’t afford uniforms or books. Tabichi claimed his prize at an opulent ceremony in Dubai, hosted by actor Hugh Jackman. He plans to use the million dollars to improve the school and continue supporting his students. MSN
• Can’t 👏🏼 Be 👏🏼 Tamed 👏🏼
Women’s fashion has long been the bane of every man’s existence. Whether a woman wears spaghetti straps or leggings, her goal is to make every man want it. (Cue record screech.) At least that’s the case according to one mother, who shared her concerns in a piece published by the University of Notre Dame’s student newspaper. (You’d think, being a woman herself, she’d know better.) Commenting on a group of girls wearing leggings at Mass, the mother wrote, “I didn’t want to see them — but they were unavoidable. How much more difficult for young guys to ignore them. Could you think of the mothers of sons the next time you go shopping and consider choosing jeans instead?” Thankfully, she got called out on her bullsh*t by commenters and the campus group Irish 4 Reproductive Health, who promptly organized a Leggings Pride Day. (Crush the stigma, sisters.) The Cut
• Love is Love
On March 29, 2014, the first same-sex marriages were officiated in England and Wales. The unions were the first to be recognized under the new law, which allowed for same-sex marriages and had come into effect on March 13, 2014.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• If you’re a woman and you’re looking for a new job, you’re going to want to consider one of these 50 companies.
• If Jussie Smollett thought he was off the hook, he was dead wrong. POTUS is getting involved and has asked the FBI and the DOJ to look into the case. (He really shouldn’t have implicated MAGA supporters.)
• Amazon may not be going to New York, but it is going to Austin. The tech giant just announced an expansion in Texas that will create 800 new jobs.
• Our eyes are suffering and Twitter wants to help. It’s just rolled out a battery-saving “Lights Out” dark mode.
• Killing Eve is killing it on the awards circuit. The show was just nominated for 14 BAFTAs.
• Gone With the Wind
Next time the wind tries to blow something away, maybe it’s best to let it?