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✨ Good morning! Today is Monday, February 4, 2019 and would it be weird to kiss a groundhog for delivering this good news?
BULLETIN: SUNDAY SNOOZEFEST
• The Background
If the NFL was relying on Super Bowl 53 to revive the world’s interest in the sport (viewership has been falling over the past few years), it put its eggs in the wrong basket. The incredibly low-scoring game (3–3 going into the fourth quarter, with not a touchdown to be found) was a snore from start to finish. But in the end, the New England Patriots clinched the victory, defeating the Los Angeles Rams by a score of 13–3. (The Patriots finally scored the only touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter.) This marks the team’s sixth championship, all led by quarterback Tom Brady. For the first time, Super Bowl MVP went to wide-receiver Julian Edelman. The win puts Brady and Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick in the history books, with Brady becoming the player and Belichick becoming the coach with the most Super Bowl wins in history. CNN
• What Else You Need to Know
Despite the lacklustre game play, there were a few bright spots: new duo Chloe x Halle absolutely slayed their rendition of “America the Beautiful,” and icon Gladys Knight didn’t forget the words to the national anthem. Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi awkwardly came together to put on some sort of halftime show that really never came together (and got absolutely crucified on the internet).
• What’s Next?
Sometime this week, the Patriots will be honoured with a parade in Boston. And should they accept the invitation (which they likely will since Brady and POTUS are besties), they’ll then be hosted at the White House for a celebration. The football season will take a short hiatus, but players will be back with their teams in April to start preparing for the 2019–2020 season.
• Border Patrol
Israel has taken a page out of POTUS’s book, and is erecting a massive wall along the Gaza Strip. The six-metre-tall steel wall will rise above an underground barrier that was built to stop Hamas from building attack tunnels along the border. Construction has commenced after months of mass protests by Palestinians; 190 have died since protests began last March, including an Israeli soldier killed by a Palestinian sniper. (The world’s going borderline crazy, if you ask us.) ABC News
• Canada: Death of a General
Canada’s auditor general of the last seven years, Michael Ferguson, passed away on Saturday from cancer at the age of 60. Appointed to the position by then PM Stephen Harper in November 2011, he initially faced criticism from opposition parties due to his inability to speak en Français, but learned the language during his time in Parliament. He’s also known for openly criticizing the government for its treatment of Indigenous people and his “hard-hitting” audits. Prime Minster Justin Trudeau said in a statement, “His important work…has helped strengthen our democracy and maintain the integrity that Canadians expect from our public institutions.” Though diagnosed with cancer last November, he was in the process of receiving treatment and hadn’t taken time away from the office; those close to him says his death comes as a surprise. He leaves behind his wife Georgina and their two sons, Malcolm and Geoffrey. Global News
• U.S.: Call the Doctor
President Trump’s ever-changing administration added a new member over the weekend. POTUS appointed Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson to be his chief medical adviser and assistant, even though Jackson is currently in the midst of a professional misconduct investigation that previously resulted in his withdrawal from running for head of Department of Veteran Affairs in 2018. Accusations against Jackson include drinking on the job, overprescribing drugs, and wrecking a Secret Service vehicle while driving under the influence. (Guess those aren’t in the job description.) Trump has vehemently defended Jackson and, in addition to appointing him chief medical adviser, has re-nominated him for a second star in his military rank. Time
• World: Broken Agreement
The complicated relationship between President Trump and his frenemy Russian President Vladimir Putin took another turn over the weekend, when both countries announced they were suspending the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty. The U.S. was first to abandon the treaty, saying on Friday it was pulling out of the agreement unless Russia complied with its terms in 180 days. Never one to take international threats lightly, Putin responded by also pulling out of the agreement, claiming that the two countries “have a tit-for-tat response. American partners have announced that they are suspending their participation in the treaty, so we are suspending ours as well.” Putin and Trump both claim the other has already been violating the 1987 agreement (as it doesn’t quite work with modern day technology) and seem to agree on the idea of starting a brand new treaty from scratch. CNN
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
He’s looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to it. We’ve made tremendous progress. If you remember, before I became president, it looked like we were going to war with North Korea. Now we have a very good relationship.
– President Donald Trump, on his upcoming meeting (which is apparently already set) with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un. CBS News
• Mourning a Coffee King
Ron Joyce, the co-founder of coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons, passed away Friday at the age of 88. The former factory worker, naval seaman, policeman, and eventual baker became Hockey Hall of Famer Tim Horton’s business partner in 1967 and helped grow the Timbit chain into a Canadian cultural icon, as well as added the term double-double to Canadian lingo. His humble origin story out of Tatamagouche, N.S. (say that five times fast) has been hailed as the ultimate Canadian success story, with former prime minister Brian Mulroney saying, “Whether he was dealing with a king, or whether he was dealing with a pauper, he was the same.” His story wasn’t always sunny, though; a sexual assault case brought against him by a woman in 2013 is still ongoing. Financial Post
• Picking Up the Pace
Under Armour wants you to train smarter, not harder. A year after it first dipped its toes into the smart sneaker market, the brand is stepping up its lineup in a big way with the launch of a full roster of connected running shoes. Each of the five new styles, which range from $120 to $180, is tailored to a different running need (e.g., long-distance, tempo training, daily use, etc.) and is available for both men and women. Built-in sensors measure your cadence, distance, pace, stride and steps, and transmit the data to the brand’s MapMyRun. The app then uses the data to advise on how changing your form by taking longer or shorter strides can help to improve your pace. A new personalized gait-coaching feature takes things a step further, prescribing customized tips on how to run with less effort and reduce risk of injury. (They had us at “less effort”.) Engadget
• Leading Men
The Oscars betting odds shift with each passing awards show and the latest event to factor into the favourites was this weekend’s Directors Guild Awards. On the film side, the biggest award of the night went to Alfonso Cuarón, who won best feature film for Roma (another big score for Netflix), while freshman Bo Burnham was recognized for first-time feature film Eighth Grade. Fans of A Star is Born were disappointed yet again — Bradley Cooper lost in both categories. (Whomp, whomp.) On the TV side, director Adam McKay earned the award for best TV drama for HBO’s Succession, and funnyman Bill Hader won for best comedy series with Barry, beating out worthy contenders Amy Sherman-Palladino (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and Donald Glover (Atlanta). While many winners made a point to call out inclusion and the #MeToo movement in their thank you speeches, it was all a bunch of talk — every single award of the night went to a man (although to be “fair,” few women were nominated to begin with). If you care more about the outfits than the awards, you can see who wore what here. A/V Club
• Hot Potato
There are definitely ways to make potatoes taste more explosive, but this is not one of them. According to Chinese authorities, a German-made grenade was discovered in a shipment of potatoes from France. (This takes potato guns to a whole new level.) Workers at the Calbee snack factory in Hong Kong discovered the mud-covered grenade among the potatoes (not sure how packers confused an explosive device for a potato…but we digress…) and police quickly responded to the situation by detonating it using a “high-pressure water firing technique.” (We’ll stick with our All Dressed chips, thanks.) HuffPost
• F*ck Cancer
Started on Feb. 4, 2000, World Cancer Day is a globally recognized event that encourages everyone around the world to “show support, raise our collective voice, take personal action and press our governments to do more” about this life-threatening disease.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• After a high-ranking air force general defected and publicly announced his support for Venezuela’s opposition leader (a.k.a. the self-proclaimed president), President Nicolas Maduro agreed to hold early parliamentary elections.
• India just took its first step towards sending men into outer space. The country opened its first centre for human spaceflight last week.
• Let the 2020 Oscar buzz begin: Sundance handed out its awards on Saturday.
• Looks like Pete Davidson is saying, “thank u, next” too. After sparking romance rumours at the Golden Globes, he was spotted holding hands with Kate Beckinsale over the weekend.
• Watered Down
Guess she never got the memo about not biting the hand that feeds you…