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✨ Good morning! Today is Friday, August 23, 2019, and it sounds like the new Apple credit card might be more fragile than its phones.
BULLETIN: TWO AGAINST ONE
• The Background
It may have its issues, but the U.S. is still our bff. Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised that America would continue to have Canada’s back in securing the release of two Canadian men who have been detained in China. Businessman Michael Spavor and diplomat-on-leave, Michael Kovrig were arrested by Chinese officials late last year in response to Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou late last year. CBC News
• What Else You Need to Know
Pompeo’s meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland comes just ahead of the G7 summit this weekend, and just hours after Chinese Foreign Affairs spokesperson Geng Shung again publicly insisted on Meng’s release. The Chinese government has tried to make it out like the arrests are equivalent, however, everyone else insists that’s not the case. President Trump has even spoken one-on-one with Chinese President Xi Jinping to tell him that the arrest of the two Canadians was entirely inappropriate.
• What’s Next?
Prime Minister Trudeau delivered a foreign policy speech on Wednesday and said, “We do not escalate, but we also don’t back down.” This past weekend, Freeland and EU foreign policy chief, Frederica Mogherini, also released a joint statement defending the right of Hong Kong citizens to assemble in protest. Needless to say, the Chinese government isn’t too happy with Canada right now.
• Oh No, We Won’t Go
A second attempt to repatriate the 730,000 Rohingya refugees who fled Bangladesh two years ago has failed, after no refugees agreed to board the buses back to Myanmar. The Rohingya left in a fervent attempt to escape a barbaric campaign of ethnic cleansing, and though the Myanmar government repeatedly vowed that a return of the Muslim minority was imminent, only a few dozen have gone back. Promises of repatriation efforts over the last two years have all failed, since the refugees (most of whom remain in squalid camps) still don’t feel safe enough to go back. New York Times
• Canada: Smooth Moves
Less than two months out from our next national election, the Trudeau government has pledged $930 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. The last Canadian contribution came in 2016, and this year’s contribution is a 15.7% increase from the previous $804 million. Plan International Canada said the government’s contribution is an “important step toward increasing the quality and access to health for women, adolescent girls and children,” while the charity’s president and CEO, Caroline Riseboro, hailed Canada’s leadership as “something to be celebrated.” The Global Fund’s goal for 2019 is to raise $14 billion in total. iPolitics
• U.S.: You Say You Want a Revolution?
Yesterday, Israel blocked two U.S. Democratic lawmakers from entering the country. Today, one will be allowed in on humanitarian grounds. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who are both outspoken critics of the Israeli government and have supported the boycott movement against the country, had plans to travel to the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem next week. It’s within the Israeli government’s power to block supporters of the BDS movement from entering the country. President Trump tweeted earlier this week that it would show “great weakness” if the pair were allowed to visit. BBC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“They have many of the collateral features of marriage, but they do not have its inherent feature, as they cannot commit to the natural procreation of children. They cannot therefore be married.”
– Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer claims that gay couples don’t possess the “inherent” quality of marriage in a 2005 tape that was uncovered (and released yesterday) by the Liberals. 🙄Toronto Star
• Convo Block
YouTube is bringing down the axe on its in-app private messaging. Private messaging will officially come to a halt on Sept. 18, with the company focusing their efforts on public conversations. It’s not a huge loss for Google, since they have almost half a dozen messaging apps already, and, perhaps key to the decision: it closes the door on kids getting around protective parental settings by using YouTube for PMs. (Better safe than sorry.) The Verge
• Flip the Switch
In a true role reversal, former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has joined Fox News as a contributor. Rather than addressing the press, she’s actually become part of it. The move marks the latest sign in a string of White House communications officials joining Fox after leaving the Trump administration, including Hope Hicks and Raj Shah. Sanders will make her debut on Sept. 6 in a live of episode of Fox & Friends. (Does this mean she’ll be asking questions instead of dodging them?) CNN
from sending them reminders, though. (They had to come up with some way to stop those nagging Nancys.) Google Search is also expanding, adding new widgets for prospective students with info on four-year and two-year programs at U.S. schools (which will hopefully expand to other countries soon).
• Game On
One of the largest toymakers, Hasbro, is going green (or at least it’s starting to). The company announced that it’s phasing out all plastics used to package its toys and games by the end of 2022. The new plastics ban only includes packaging (not the actual toys inside), but Hasbro says it’s targeting the most wasteful part of the products. (You gotta start somewhere.) Forbes
• The Perfect Man
There are many reasons to file for divorce, but this is not one of them. A woman in the United Arab Emirates is separating from her husband, claiming his love was simply too much for her to bear. “I was choked by extreme love and affection. He even helped me clean the house,” she said. (The horror!) Apparently, the guy also cooked, swept and gave his wife constant love and attention. The woman doubled down on her complaints, explaining that she had longed, “for one day of dispute, but this seems impossible with my romantic husband who always forgave me and showered me with gifts.” (It sounds like he was playing hard to get rid of.) Khaleej Times
• When it All Began
Believe it or not, it’s only been 28 years since the World Wide Web was opened to the general public. Look how far we’ve come.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• An important cautionary tale: a Canadian woman faces lifetime ban after attempting to bring CBD oil over the border.
• Amazon has opened its biggest office building yet, and its located in Hyderabad, India.
• The CEO of HP has announced that he’s stepping down due to a “family health matter.”
• This Sh*t is Bananas
Did they seriously think they wouldn’t get caught?