Change your travel plans

Two Canadians are kidnapped in Ghana, the government plans a new social media program, and the Obamas have another new venture.
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Change your travel plans

Two Canadians are kidnapped in Ghana, the government plans a new social media program, and the Obamas have another new venture.
Facebook
Twitter
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Good morning! Today is Friday, June 7, 2019, and we hope your day is better than Taylor Swift’s.


BULLETIN: KUMASI KIDNAPPING

• The Background

In a spate of kidnappings over the last month in Ghana, two Canadian exchange students were abducted in the country’s second-largest city, Kumasi. Global Affairs Canada has confirmed the kidnapping, and are giving assistance and support to the individuals’ families. The Canadian government is not disclosing any specific details with regard to the number of victims, their gender or ages, but local media says it was two female students,19 and 20 years old, at Kumasi Technical University who were abducted at 8pm on Monday after leaving their apartment. The women were doing community service work for Youth Challenge International, a Toronto-based non-governmental organization operating in Ghana. CTV News

• What Else You Need to Know

In a spate of kidnappings over the last month in Ghana, two Canadian exchange students were abducted in the country’s second-largest city, Kumasi. Global Affairs Canada has confirmed the kidnapping, and are giving assistance and support to the individuals’ families. The Canadian government is not disclosing any specific details with regard to the number of victims, their gender or ages, but local media says it was two female students,19 and 20 years old, at Kumasi Technical University who were abducted at 8pm on Monday after leaving their apartment. The women were doing community service work for Youth Challenge International, a Toronto-based non-governmental organization operating in Ghana. CTV News

• What’s Next?

Back in April, Ghana’s president promised to crack down on the rising number of kidnappings in his country, after an Indian man was held hostage.


POLITICS

• Canada: Compy Campaign

Elections Canada just dropped $650K enlisting social media influencers in a new voting campaign aimed at the country’s youth. (If you don’t know what a social media influencer is, chances are you won’t be happy about where your taxpayer dollars are going once you find out.) The currently unnamed “influencers” will include Canadian Olympians, YouTubers, and a gamer, to name a few, and will take part in a campaign aimed at voters between the ages of 18 and 24, the age demographic that, historically, has the lowest voter turnout. A set of rules are in place barring the influencers from being involved in any way with any specific political party up to one year after the campaign concludes. CTV News

• World: To the Left

In a historic election, Denmark’s Liberal Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen admitted defeat in the country’s general election, clearing the way for Social Democrat leader Mette Frederiksen to take power. Frederiksen, 41, will now be the country’s youngest ever prime minister. Key factors in her campaign included climate change, welfare cuts and support for a tougher migration policy. This election will make Denmark the third Nordic country to elect a leftist government in the last year, following Sweden and Finland.  BBC News


📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY

“I want my existence to have meant something. I want my kids to turn around and be like, ‘Yeah, that was my mom.”

Priyanka Chopra Jonas, on her ultimate career goal (“to change the world a little bit”) and the purpose of life (“to be happy”). InStyle


BUSINESS

• A Dead Deal

A deal that would have completely changed the face of the global auto industry is now off the table, after Fiat Chrysler pulled out of its proposal to merge with French carmaker, Renault. Fiat Chrysler said that it “has become clear that the political conditions in France do not currently exist for such a combination to proceed successfully.” France was in support of the merger, as the country owns 15% of Renault and is the company’s largest shareholder. Renault expressed disappointment over the failed deal, which it said had great potential and financial merit. The proposed merger is the latest of a series of automakers partnering to split the enormous costs of developing new electric vehicles and self-driving cars. CNN

TECH

• Lone Us Some Libras

Run for cover — Facebook’s taking over the world. The social media platform will be releasing details of its upcoming cryptocurrency, codenamed Libra, on June 18. In the spirit of balance, Facebook’s head of financial services and payment partnerships for northern Europe, Laura McCracken, said the currency will be linked to a number of global currencies rather than just the U.S. dollar, allowing for stability while dollar values worldwide fluctuate. It’s thought the new currency could be used as an easy method of payment between friends or even to transfer funds of migrant workers abroad to their families back home who are often saddled with expensive transfer fees. It wouldn’t be Facebook without some spying; the company will also be able to see who’s spending where and target their ads accordingly. It’s rumoured that Facebook will officially launch Libra in 2020. TechCrunch

SPORTS

• Basketball: Playing Dirty

We all saw that very unsportsmanlike shove against Raptors guard Kyle Lowry a couple nights ago during the third game of the NBA Finals, and it turns out it came from Warriors investor Mark Stevens. “Mr. Stevens’ behaviour last night did not reflect the high standard that we hope to exemplify as an organization,” the Warriors said in an official release that included apologies from both the team and Stevens. Lowry, chasing the wayward ball, went into the first row of seats on the sidelines to Stevens’ left; video footage showed Stevens promptly shoving Lowry’s left shoulder. Late last night, the NBA announced that Stevens is banned from all NBA games for at least a year and has been fined US $500,000. “A team representative must be held to the highest possible standard and the conduct of Golden State Warriors investor Mark Stevens last night was beyond unacceptable and has no place in our league,” said NBA spokesman Mike Bass. Lowry didn’t let any sore losers get him down, though, helping lead the Raptors to a 123–109 victory with 23 points of his own. Sportsnet

• Championship Update 🏒

↳ The St. Louis Blues are one win away from bringing the Stanley Cup home to Missouri. The Blues beat the Boston Bruins last night (2–1) to take a 3–2 lead in the series. Game six is Sunday night at 8pm ET. 

ENTERTAINMENT

• Presidential Podcast

Our favourite former first couple is breaking into the increasingly popular podcast scene. Michelle and Barack Obama signed an exclusive partnership deal with streaming giant, Spotify. The Obamas’ production company, Higher Ground, will produce podcasts only available on the Spotify platform. The production company also recently signed an agreement with Netflix, where it will produce movies and TV shows. In both the Netflix and Spotify deals, the Obamas will produce content and stories aimed at inspiring and giving a voice to underrepresented individuals. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to amplify voices that are too often ignored or silenced altogether, and through Spotify, we can share those stories with the world,” Michelle Obama said. In a major win for Spotify, the company’s chief content officer said, “President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are two of the world’s most important voices.” (We concur.) NBC News

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY

• Iron Man to the Rescue

In true Tony Stark/Iron Man fashion, Robert Downey Jr. just unveiled a new initiative at Amazon’s Re:Mars Conference called the Footprint Coalition, which will use robots and other advanced tech to battle climate change. While dubbing himself a “one-man carbon footprint nightmare colossus,” Downey presented findings from a panel of experts, saying, “Between robotics and nanotechnology, we could clean up the planet significantly, if not totally, in 10 years.” (Which is, frankly, way better than this news.) The organization is set to officially launch in April 2020. USA Today

DAILY WTF

• Birthday Bonkers

If you’ve worked in a corporate office environment, you know there are plenty of employees who want to have their cake and eat it, too. One poor woman found out the hard way after baking a cake for a team member just to have another office employee demand the woman bake her a birthday cake, too. (Let’s be clear, this was a demand, not a polite request.) And bless the internet, because of course the woman posted her coworker’s rude messages online for our amusement. Not only did the colleague get specific with the demands (we’re talking a luxe, gourmet cake) but she also wanted to pass the dessert off as her own contribution to the office festivities. The woman responded offering to provide a box cake or cookies instead, to which the rude coworker texted back, “Wtf? Ur joking right?” before going next-level cray and threatening to report the woman to HR. (Um, what?) Mirror


⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT

• In very good news for U.S. citizens, the FCC just voted to allow wireless carriers to block robocalls

• Late last night, the Senate passed the Impact Assessment Act with more than 180 amendments. The legislation overhauls the way Canada assesses major energy projects. 

• Instagram’s getting even more emo. The social media giant just launched a new feature, allowing users to display music lyrics in their video Story. 

• Another magazine is scaling back. Entertainment Weekly just announced that it’s going monthly (but will keep its name), along with a new editor-in-chief. 

• After much speculation, it’s official: Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk have called it quits. (Shall we watch that Oscar performance one more time?)


TODAY IS…

• Dollars to Donuts

It’s National Donut Day, and to celebrate this truly sacred occasion, Krispy Kreme is handing out free donuts (yes, free) all across Canada today. So get ’em while they’re hot, friends!

PARTING SHOT

• Good Joke

If protecting the environment won’t make you stop using plastic bags, maybe this will.


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