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✨ Good morning! Today is Thursday, February 28, 2019 and we’ve got baby fever.
BULLETIN: CAPITAL DRAMA
• The Background
While we’re used to watching from afar as governments plunge into crisis (ahem, ‘Merica), one woman’s testimony may have sent our own country’s leadership into complete and total disarray. After weeks of speculation, Jody Wilson-Raybould finally testified in front of parliament yesterday, and the former attorney general did not hold back. According to her version of events (which it must be said, were backed up with “verbatim texts and contemporaneous notes”), the Prime Minister’s Office definitely interfered with the SNC-Lavalin investigation, urging her to secure a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the Montreal-based company. National Post
• What Else You Need to Know
Though many thought that Wilson-Raybould’s testimony would only target Trudeau, it turns out that she’s upset with more than just our country’s leader. When talking about the Deferred Prosecution Agreement, she spoke of “a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the attorney general of Canada.” The MP noted 10 phone calls, and multiple meetings, emails, and text messages from at least 11 different people, all of whom were working to “wear down her resistance, if not intimidate her into submission.” It apparently got as bad as receiving “not-so-veiled threats,” after Wilson-Raybould decided that she wouldn’t step in.
• What’s Next?
After hearing Wilson-Raybould’s version of events, parliament will probably want to hear from those she mentioned, and will likely call them to testify under oath. As for Trudeau, he maintains that he and his staff “always acted appropriately and professionally,” but his opposition isn’t buying it. PC Leader Andrew Scheer has already called on the PM to resign, and has asked the RCMP to open an investigation.
• U.S.: Damning Testimony
Speaking of testimonies, another long-awaited hearing came to fruition south of the border yesterday, when POTUS’s former lawyer Michael Cohen answered questions from Congress. There were quite a few tidbits that Democrats latched onto, including the fact that (according to Cohen), Trump is a “racist,” a “cheat,” and a “con man,” that the president personally approved several hush money payments to former porn star Stormy Daniels (even though he swore he had no knowledge of said payments), that he was fully aware of the 2016 Wikileaks data dump (the one related to former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton) well before it happened, and that he lied about the Moscow Trump Tower project and urged Cohen to lie, too. Cohen also expressed remorse for his actions during the seven(!)-hour hearing, saying he regrets the day he “said yes to Mr. Trump,” and offering up apologies to Congress, his family and the American people. NBC News
• World: A Long Road
Despite an election riddled with fraud accusations, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has officially been re-elected to a second four-year term. The 76-year-old politician beat his former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, by nearly four million votes, collecting 15.2 million to Abubakar’s 11.3 million. Buhari said his second term priorities include intensifying “its efforts in security, restructuring the economy and fighting corruption.” BBC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
We don’t need time. We need decisions.
– French President Emmanuel Macron weighs in on British Prime Minister Theresa May’s suggestion of delaying Brexit in light of stalled economic negotiations. A public referendum to make those decisions could be around the corner. Time
• HB-See Ya Later
Less than a week after Hudson’s Bay Co. announced some major closures (RIP, Home Outfitters) comes another bombshell bit of business news from the company: Alison Coville, president of the Hudson’s Bay department stores, is stepping down. No reason was given publicly for Coville’s departure, which is effective March 1. According to HBC, the iconic retailer will be “led by key executives” under the direction of CEO Helena Foulkes while it actively works to recruit Coville’s successor. CBC News
• Total Control
Social media heavyweights should take a cue from TikTok. (We’re looking at you, Twitter.) The up-and-comer has added a custom comment filter to its existing suite of user safety features. Designed to ward off trolls and hateful, obscene or predatory commenters, the new tool allows anyone using the platform to set up a customized filter blocking out words or phrases of their choosing from comments on their videos — or even lock things down a step further by allowing comments only from approved users. To spread awareness about users’ options, TikTok has also released a series of (surprisingly fun to watch) video tutorials through its new @tiktoktips account that explain all the privacy and security settings available and offers tips on how to use them. Considering the app just marked one billion downloads, these new features have come right on time. The Verge
• Football: Rough Cut
Johnny Manziel might be known as Johnny Football, but there’s one place he won’t be playing the sport — and that’s in Canada. Yesterday, the Canadian Football League instructed Manziel’s team (the Montreal Alouettes) to terminate the quarterback’s contract. If that wasn’t bad enough, the league also told every other Canadian team that they couldn’t sign him either. (Specifically: they wouldn’t register a contract if anyone tried to submit one.) According to the CFL, Manziel had “contravened the agreement, which made him eligible to play in the league.” The Alouettes were adament on keeping the 26-year-old, but just couldn’t make it work: “We worked with the league and presented alternatives to Johnny, who was unwilling to proceed.” Sportsnet
📖👀🎧 THE WEEKEND PLAYLIST
Is there anything more enthralling than a self-made billionaire who lost everything overnight? This Vanity Fair exposé gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at Elizabeth Holmes’ last days at Theranos.
One of the most talked-about series of the year kicks off Sunday, when Leaving Neverland — which follows the relationships Michael Jackson formed with two young boys — premieres on HBO (10pm ET).
Need something to help get you in the mood? If you’re so over Fifty Shades of Grey, check out Dipsea, a new all-inclusive storytelling app that’s sure to turn you on every time you turn, er, it on.
• Evil is Good
If you’re the type who always finds yourself cheering for the bad guy in movies, you may want to consider subscribing to Disney’s much-hyped upcoming streaming service, said to be launching late this year. In the works at Disney+ is a TV series based on Serena Valentino’s Disney Villian novels. Titled Book of Enchantment, the drama flips the script to retell the classic fairytales from the villians’ perspectives, recasting the likes of Ursula, Maleficent, and Beast as the stories’ heroes. From the sounds of it, this one’s for adult fairytale fans; Michael Seitzman, who counts Quantico, Code Black, and Hulu’s new multi-series John Grisham franchise among his credits, is writing and producing the series. Hollywood Reporter
• Smash and
Criminals in London are nothing if not resourceful. A gang of thieves has reportedly been cleaning up in the city’s affluent Kensington and Chelsea neighbourhoods, using vacuum cleaners to suck cash out of area parking meters. (Sometimes criminals really are brilliant.) The cleaning crew has apparently gone undetected for the past year, over which they’ve bagged tens of thousands of pounds in loose change, with city councillors pinning the total haul at around £120,000. Authorities are urging drivers help out by going cashless and using the city’s parking app to pay instead. BBC News
• Slam Dunk
On Feb. 28, 1940, basketball made its small screen debut. The one-camera telecast by NBC Affiliate W2XBS was aired live from Madison Square Garden, showing a regular season game between Fordham University and the University of Pittsburgh.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• At least 25 people were killed and another 47 were injured yesterday when a speeding train crashed into a barrier at Cairo’s main train station.
• Thanks to rising gas prices, Canada’s inflation rate slowed to 1.4% in January — the lowest its been since the fall of 2017.
• Who needs upvotes when you can get tips? Reddit’s experimenting with a new feature that could mean a payout for your next popular post.
• The rumours are true: the Beverly Hills, 90210 revival is coming back to Fox this summer for a limited six-episode run.
• A Step Too Far
You can tell a lot about someone (like if they’re a total weirdo or not) by the shoes they wear.