✨ Good morning! Today is Monday, August 12, 2019, and love is officially dead.
BULLETIN: THE END IS NOT NEAR
• The Background
In a shocking twist in a high-profile sex-trafficking scandal, disgraced billionaire and financier, Jeffrey Epstein, committed suicide in his jail cell early Saturday morning. The suicide is particularly puzzling, as only three weeks ago, Epstein, who pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges, was found in his jail cell with marks on his neck, indicating possible self-harm. Epstein was placed on suicide watch following the injuries on July 23, but was taken off and cleared by the end of the month. To top it off, the convicted pedophile’s cell was not monitored the night of the suicide. The real question is: was this purely a mistake or was something nefarious going on behind the scenes? CNN
• What Else You Need to Know
As is the case with all public scandals, rumours and conspiracies are inevitable. In this case, it’s President Trump (of all people) who’s perpetuating a theory linking Epstein’s death to the Clinton family. The day of Epstein’s apparent suicide, Trump shared a video on Twitter from a conservative comedian, who claimed (without evidence, we might add) that Bill and Hillary Clinton were responsible for killing Epstein. The video went viral, receiving more than three million views in less than 24 hours.
• What’s Next?
Though Jeffrey Epstein is gone, the charges against him are still very much alive. Last Friday, more than 2,000 pages of documents were released, containing graphic new allegations and evidence against Epstein. The federal investigation into the multiple allegations against him remains ongoing, and the conspiracy charges he was facing could implicate others as well.
In what’s being called an act of vandalism, the RCMP says someone deliberately cut the cable of the Sea to Sky Gondola, a popular tourist destination along a Highway in Squamish, B.C. Nearly all of the 30 gondola cars attached to the 885-metre cable came crashing down in the early hours of Saturday morning. (Thankfully no one was injured.) The RCMP is investigating the incident, which caused $1 million in property damage, plus an inevitable revenue loss. (Good gondola 😲!) CBC News
• Air Pressure
All departing flights out of Hong Kong International Airport were cancelled Monday as a peaceful anti-government protest there extended into its fourth day. Flights scheduled to arrive will be permitted to land. But in a statement, Hong Kong’s Airport Authority said it was cancelling all flights that were not yet checked in, meaning more than 100 flights would not be getting off the ground. Many protesters wore bandages over their eyes on Monday to protest police actions on Sunday that included firing tear gas and non-lethal ammunition at demonstrators, all of which was caught on video. CBC
• Double Trouble
Thirty-three are confirmed dead and another 16 are missing more than a day after Typhoon Lekima made landfall on the Chinese province of Zhejiang on Saturday. (Thankfully, more than one million were evacuated to safety. 🙏) The majority of the fatalities occurred in the city of Wenzhou, where a natural dam resulted in a landslide. The damage has amounted to a bill of about 14.57 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) so far, with the potential for more — Typhoon Lekima is just one of TWO typhoons making their way along the western Pacific, and it looks like Typhoon Krosa has its sights set on Japan. BBC News
• U.S.: Attack on Tech
President Trump is going to new extremes in his fervent attacks against Silicon Valley. The hostility, which stems from the common view among Republicans that social media companies want to silence the right-wing, pushed Trump to draft an executive order that could put the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in charge of shaping how Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies, dictate what appears on their apps and sites. The draft would make the FCC responsible for developing new regulations as to how and when the law protects social media sites when they decide to remove or suppress content from certain platforms. CNN
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Oh, you know, just @Simone_Biles DEFYING THE LAWS OF PHYSICS.”
– Twitter user @Official_Pando, sharing what everyone else is thinking after American gymnastics superstar Simone Biles made history, becoming the first gymnast to ever attempt and land a double-twisting, double somersault dismount off the balance beam. Biles later won her sixth U.S. national championship. USA Today
• Thoughts and Prayers
In response to calls for Walmart to stop selling guns in its American stores following two mass shootings (one of which happened in a Walmart), Walmart has instead decided to remove displays of violent video games. Not only is Walmart America’s largest retailer, but it’s one of the largest sellers of guns and ammunition in the world. (Oh, the irony.) The decision to pull the displays is meant as a “thoughtful and deliberate” response to the shootings, according to CEO Doug McMillon, and according to Walmart spokesperson Tara House, “does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment” (or its gun selection, which remains as accessible as ever). CNN
• Tennis: Home Sweet Home
Budding Canadian tennis sweetheart Bianca Andreescu just brought the Rogers Cup home for the first time in 50 years. The 19-year-old Mississauga, Ont., native was up 3–1 when opponent Serena Williams was forced to retire from the match due to an injury. On the men’s side, Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime beat out Milos Raonic (of Thornhill, Ont.) in a much-anticipated all-Canadian matchup in an early round. In Sunday’s final, Rafael Nadal came out on top over Daniil Medvedev. Sportsnet
• Teenage Dream
The stars were out in full force last night at the 2019 Teen Choice Awards, which honours adolescents’ favourite celebrities, movies, TV shows, songs, and more. (They’ve been voting online and via social media for months.) Last night’s big screen winners included Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, After, The Perfect Date and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Unsurprisingly, teen TV dramas like Riverdale and ShadowHunters, along with Netflix’s hit Stranger Things, each picked up multiple trophies. Finally, Taylor Swift (who, btw, was likely hella hungover) was honoured with the show’s inaugural Icon Award. You can see the full list of nominees and winners here.
• A Sh*tty Situation
Who ever said that getting pooped on by a bird was lucky? It was the opposite for Georgia Southern starting quarterback Shai Werts, who was suspended from the team last week after being arrested for misdemeanor drug possession. Turns out the so-called “drug” splattered across the hood of his car wasn’t cocaine after all, despite testing positive for it, but instead was just a very party-happy bird’s droppings. (Holy
crack crap.) 11alive
• Elephant In the Room
Today is World Elephant Day, an international observance dedicated to preserving and protecting the world’s elephant population. It’s also an opportunity to shed light on the incredible dangers faced by elephants, and how travellers can help.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• A shooting at a mosque in Norway is now being investigated as a possible act of terrorism.
• At least 150 people are dead after heavy monsoons hit India over the weekend.
• Stats Can has released its employment report for July and things aren’t looking good: The unemployment rate just went up and women are being hit the hardest.
• Oopsie! Versace’s latest T-shirt upset China by implying Hong Kong and Macau were independent territories.
• The members of K-pop band BTS announced yesterday that they’re taking a break from performing to “recharge and prepare to present themselves anew as musicians and creators.”
• False Advertising
This is why we have trust issues.