Party On

The results from yesterday's special by-elections, the U.S. imposes more sanctions on Venezuela and an innovative new device from Sony.

Party On

The results from yesterday's special by-elections, the U.S. imposes more sanctions on Venezuela and an innovative new device from Sony.

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✨  Good morning! Today is Tuesday, February 26, 2019 and we’re going to take crazy as a compliment from now on. 💪


• The Background

Yesterday, in one of this year’s most anticipated political events, voters in B.C., Ontario and Quebec hit the polls to vote in three critical special elections. Seats in Burnaby South (B.C.), York-Simcoe (Ontario) and Outremont (Quebec) were all up for grabs, giving party leaders insight into political leanings ahead of the October general election. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh took the seat from the Liberals in Burnaby South (meaning he’ll finally get his time to shine in the House of Commons), Conservative candidate Scot Davidson held onto the party’s seat in York-Simcoe and Liberal Rachel Bendayan took the seat from the NDP in Outremont, splitting things right down the middle ahead of October. CBC News

• What Else You Need to Know

This election was a big one for all three of Canada’s major political parties. With openings across the country, each one was hoping to steal seats from the others. Though things ended up in a draw, there were some insights from the results: In B.C., Singh took 39% of the vote to the Liberals’ 26%, followed by the Conservatives with 22.5% and Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada in fourth with 10.6%. The Conservatives managed to collect more than 53% of the vote in York-Simcoe, followed by the Liberals with 29.9% and the NDP with just 7%. And in Outrement, a district that’s been NDP since 2007, the Liberals stunned, winning 40% of the vote, compared to the NDP’s 26.1%.

• What’s Next?

There are currently three vacant seats in the federal government: Nanaimo-Ladysmith, Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel and Kings-Hants. Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel and Kings-Hants will stay vacant until the general election in October, but Nanaimo-Ladysmith must elect a new MP at some point before July 6. 


• Striking Back

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated early this morning, when India launched a series of air strikes against an alleged terrorist training camp across the Line of Control (the “border” between the two countries). The strikes are a response to what India’s called “credible intelligence” that there are potential terrorist attacks being planned in the area by Jaish-e-Mohammed, the same group it believes was behind the suicide car bomb attack that killed 40 Indian soldiers on Feb. 14. Pakistan responded quickly, with its foreign minster warning India “not to challenge” the country, and that its defenders were “fully prepared to respond to any misadventure.” CNN


• In Like a Lamb

While this winter hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park, there’s finally some good weather news for Canadians: spring is close. Like, so close we can almost taste it — at least according to the nation’s top meteorologists. The Weather Network’s Chris Scott said the warmer season about to make its entrance (“spring is knocking at that door and it’s coming in”) and that it’ll be here before we know it (winter’s “going to break down almost all at once through to the middle to the latter half of March”). However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows: He also predicts the next few weeks will “feel like the middle of winter” before things take a turn. CTV News


• World: A Problem Like Maduro

The world is stepping up its efforts to handle the situation in Venezuela. Yesterday, representatives from Lima Group member nations (along with U.S. VP Mike Pence) met in Colombia to figure out what exactly they’re going to do about Venezuelan “president” Nicolas Maduro. The U.S. decided to up its sanctions against the leader, along with several of his associates: Omar Jose Prieto, governor of the northwestern state of Zulia that borders Colombia; Ramon Alonso Carrizalez, governor of the state of Apure and a former defence minister; Jorge Luis Garcia, governor of Vargas state and former head of the army; and Rafael Alejandro Lacava, governor of Carabobo state and an ally of Maduro’s. Pence also urged all nations to freeze PDVSA’s assets (a state-controlled oil company) and to restrict visas for any of Maduro’s close associates. CBC News


There are no actual crimes. There’s only things that people did in past lives, in 2006 before we even thought we’d ever get into this crazy world.

– In an appearance on Fox & Friends, first son Donald Trump Jr.bizarrely claims Mueller’s indictments of his father’s associates aren’t for “actual crimes.” (Um, dude, what happened in 2006??  👀The Week


• One-Stop Shop

Target is taking aim at competitors like Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy with its newest initiative. Yesterday, the American retailer launched Target+, an extended online marketplace that will allow third-party sellers to hawk their wares through the Target ecosystem. So what makes it different? Target says it’s taking a curated approach to deciding what sellers it brings into the fold. Rather than allowing just any ol’ seller to apply for inclusion on the platform (as Amazon and Walmart do), Target’s partners will be “carefully selected” by the retailer’s buyers and invited to participate in the program. It’s kicking things off with “thoughtfully selected” additions to its home, toys, electronics and sporting goods, with more to come as the program grows. TechCrunch


• Cinematic Experience

The biggest cellphone event of the year (yep, that’s a thing), World Mobile Congress kicked off in Barcelona yesterday and Sony’s new Xperia 1 was one of the first devices to catch attention out of the gates. The brand’s flagship smartphone is tailor-made for photo and video enthusiasts on both sides of the lens. For unmatched viewing, the phone’s 6.5-inch OLED display boasts a tall 21:9 aspect ratio and 4K resolution — the first phone with these features. For photography, the Xperia is equipped with three camera lenses in varying focal lengths for normal, wide angle and telephoto shooting and uses the same eye-tracking autofocus technology Sony uses in its mirrorless camera — another smartphone first. As for filming, a collaboration with CineAlta brings the expertise of professional cinema camera engineers to the small screen, capturing 4K HDR footage at 24 fps with SteadyShot stabilization. The pricing and release date are still a mystery, but we’re going to guess that the slightly less impressive Xperia 10 and 10 Plus, also unveiled yesterday, will be a better fit for our budgets. Engadget


• Hockey: Trading Day

After months of anticipation and speculation, the NHL trade deadline has finally come and gone. Teams around the league (including those north of the border) made big moves in the hopes of improving their chances of taking home the Cup. The Montreal Canadiens acquired forward Jordan Weal, which sent Michael Chaput to the Arizona Coyotes. Defenceman Oscar Fantenberg is heading to the Calgary Flames from the Los Angeles Kings, in exhange for a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2020. The Vancouver Canucks acquired acquired winger Tanner Pearson (from the Penguins) and Linus Karlsson (from the Sharks). The Toronto Maple Leafs picked up minor-league winger Nic Petan from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for fourth-line forward Par Lindholm. The Jets also acquired Kevin Hayes from the Rangers and the Ottawa Senators picked up forward Oscar Lindberg, defence prospect Erik Brännström, and a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft from the Golden Knights (in exchange for “the best player on the market,” Mark Stone). The trade follows Ottawa’s earlier announcement that it was sending centre Matt Duchene to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Vitaly Abramov and Jonathan Davidsson, a first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and a conditional first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Sportsnet


• Rock This Way

In this day and age, the only way for a magazine to survive is to become a full-blown media company — or in the case of Rolling Stone, a production company. The 52-year-old publication is breaking new ground with the creation of an anthology documentary series, produced in partnership with Imagine Documentaries. Sound & Vision will delve into the magazine’s archives to share the stories of rock and roll’s defining figures and events as told through its original reporting. Each episode will be framed as “a specific journey through a unique moment in music and cultural history,” with the first season set to include biographical portraits of Jerry Lee Lewis, Florence Welch, Aaliyah and — yes — Freddie Mercury. A network and premiere date have yet to be announced. Deadline


• Gender Neutral

What’s a stan to do when their dream of transforming themselves into their favourite star’s creepy doppelgänger is complicated by their decision to undergo sexual reassignment surgery? Easy — become that star’s wife’s creepy doppelgänger instead. (Are you following any of this?) Jack Johnson of England spent thousands of pounds on plastic surgery to resemble football icon David Beckham. But, Johnson says deep down, she knew she identified as a woman. So, she’s changing her name to Victoria, dying her blonde hair dark brown and readying herself for a new round of procedures to resemble Posh Spice. Said Johnson on a local daytime TV program, “I love her face and body, everything about her and I’m going to look like her twin when I’m done.” (It’s good to have goals, right?) Nottingham Post


• How Do You Like Me Now?

On Feb. 26, 1616, Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei was formally banned by the Roman Catholic Church for his (obviously totally absurd 🤨) assertion that the earth orbits the sun.


• When Jody Wilson-Raybauld testifies this week about the SNC-Lavalin scandal, she’ll be able to do so openly. Yesterday, the prime minister waived attorney-client privilege.

• Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, surprisingly resigned yesterday, without any rhyme or reason. 

• GE made a big business move yesterday, selling its bio-pharma divisionto Danaher for $21.4 billion. 

• Visa’s bringing a more reliable form of  the beloved tap functionality to public transit. The company just announced a partnership with Planeta Informatica. 

• Florida prosecutors are officially charging New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft with two counts of soliciting prostitution. 

• R. Kelly’s officially out on bail, after he pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. 


• Far From Home

We know climate change is wreaking havoc on our oceans but this news is beyond comprehension.

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