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✨ Good morning! Today is Tuesday, November 13, 2018 and we’re wishing, hoping, and praying that this shows up in our stocking this year.
BULLETIN: ENEMY LINES
• The Background
Israel and Gaza are at it again. Yesterday, the violence between the two regions worsened, after Israel’s undercover operation on Sunday which resulted in the deaths of seven Palestinian militants, including one Hamas commander. While the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) chose not to reveal the details of its mission, it claims the operation “was not intended to kill or abduct terrorists, but to strengthen Israeli security.” Fawzi Barhoum, spokesperson for Hamas, condemned the operation as a “cowardly Israeli attack,” and since Sunday, militants in Gaza have fired more than 300 rockets and mortars at Israel. BBC News
• What Else You Need to Know
For the first time in a long time, some of Gaza’s rockets made contact, injuring 10 Israeli citizens. Most of the 300 rockets were intercepted, and some landed in open spaces. An Israeli soldier was injured when a projectile hit a bus in the Shaar Hanegev region, and three residents were injured by shrapnel in Sderot. In response to the hundreds of rockets, Israel bombed more than 70 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza, including militant compounds, observation posts, and rocket-launching squads. The IDF also hit the Hamas-run television station in Gaza, Al-Aqsa.
• What’s Next?
Israeli Maj Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun said that Hamas had “crossed a line” and that the country’s military would respond “with an iron fist against all terrorist activity or rocket fire.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even cut his trip to France short to attend an emergency meeting with Israeli security chiefs.
• The Heat Rises
The death toll in California continues to rise, as three vicious wildfires continue to destroy everything in their path. Authorities discovered another 13 bodies in Northern California yesterday, bringing the total number of fatalities across the state to 44. Forty-two of those were killed in the Camp Fire, while the other two were casualties of Southern California’s Woolsey Fire. Firefighters made good progress containing the blazes yesterday, but today’s Santa Ana winds (which may reach hurricane force) threaten all their hard work. CNN
• U.S.: Colour War
Arizona is officially purple. Last night, Republican Rep. Martha McSally conceded the Senate race to Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, flipping the seat left vacant by Sen. Jeff Flake (who was often critical of POTUS, but a very republican Republican) from red to blue. It was a hard-fought race and an important win for the Democrats — Trump won the state by three-and-a-half points in 2016. Sinema joins Republican John Kyl (who succeeded Sen. John McCain earlier this year) in representing Arizona. Washington Post
• U.S.: Making a Run For It
We now know at least one person who will challenge Donald Trump for the White House in 2020. Yesterday, West Virginia state Sen. Richard Ojeda announced that he was going to run, just days after he lost his congressional bid for the state’s third district. Ojeda, who was once a staunch supporter of the president, went on to blast Trump, saying the administration needs people that “are actually going to get out there and fight for the citizens across this country.” He also criticized Congress for all the “political infighting.” (That’s putting it mildly.) While Ojeda is the first Democrat to announce, he likely won’t be the last. Names like Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders are all being floated as possible presidential candidates. The Hill
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Our expectation was that you would continue to use your moral authority to speak out against injustice wherever you saw it, not least within Myanmar itself.
– Amnesty International’s secretary general, Kumi Naidoo, in a letter to Myanmar’s civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, informing her the organization was withdrawing its ambassador of conscience award. The Guardian
• Saks Sacked
Montreal shoppers are going to have to continue paying full price for designer goods for a little bit longer. Hudson’s Bay Company has scrapped plans to open a Saks Off Fifth location at the Montreal Eaton Centre and is refusing to offer an explanation, despite alluding to “a number of factors” that led to the decision. HBC currently operates 18 Saks Off Fifth locations across Canada in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. The company announced its Montreal Eaton Centre location in 2015 as part of the brand’s Canadian expansion. Next fall, French sports chain Decathlon will replace Saks Off Fifth in the 44,850 foot space spanning two floors at the Montreal Eaton Centre. Financial Post
• Hear, Hear!
Trying to listen to every great podcast is like making unique lunches for each one of your kids: ain’t nobody got time for that. Like Google for audio, new site Audioburst searches for content from podcasts and talk-radio shows to generate personalized playlists for users based on keywords and favourite topics. (Is there a chocolate podcast?) “Through this feature, Audioburst is changing the way people consume audio in the same way that users consume music on Spotify,” said Assaf Gad, VP of marketing and strategic partnerships. Audioburst has several partners, including Bose, Harman, and Samsung and, beginning next year, will offer integration with partner products such as smart speakers, mobile, in-car infotainment, and wearable tech. (Sounds like a winner to us.) TechCrunch
• Hockey: Head Case
The NHL and its former players have reached a settlement agreement in the largest lawsuit ever brought against the league. A number of retired NHL players have accused the league of failing to prevent head trauma and of promoting violent play without properly warning players about the risks involved. While the NHL didn’t acknowledge or accept liability, it did agree to a settlement of $16.9 million. The settlement includes a cash payment, neurological testing for former players, up to $75,000 in medical treatment for players who test positive on two or more tests, and a “Common Good Fund” of $2.5 million to support retired players in need, including those that did not participate in the lawsuit. Sportsnet
Yesterday was a sad day for comic book fans everywhere, as former Marvel editor-in-chief Stan Lee passed away at the age of 95. Having begun his career as a gofer earning $8 a week, Lee quickly rose through the ranks and turned Marvel into the No. 1 publisher of comics. Most of the top-grossing superhero films of all time have featured Marvel characters he created or co-created, such as Black Panther, Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Mighty Thor, and more. “Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created,” said Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger. “A superhero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain and to connect. The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart.” Hollywood Reporter
• Marriage Material
They say you can’t help who you love, and in some cases, that may mean falling in love with a real, live…hologram? A man in Japan wed the love of his life earlier this month: a 16-year-old virtual reality singer named Hatsune Miku. According to the 35-year-old groom, Akihiko Kondo, he can’t imagine dating a “flesh-and-blood woman” and says he’s “always been in love” with the wide-eyed Miku, who also rocks turquoise pigtails. Approximately 40 people attended the duo’s US $18,000 wedding (none of whom were family members) which was complete with rings (there’s a Miku doll which got to attend the wedding and wear the ring) and a marriage certificate (issued by the company that produces the hologram device). Though the marriage isn’t legal, Kondo says he feels like an ordinary married man — his wife wakes him up in the morning and tells him when it’s time to go to bed. (Though we’re pretty sure she doesn’t get annoyed so how ordinary can it be?) Channel News Asia
STRAIGHT TO THE POINT…
Sometimes there’s just too much news and not enough space.
• Apparently North Korea isn’t as committed to abandoning its missile program as it claims to be — newly released commercial satellite images show more than a dozen undeclared missile bases.
• The adenovirus outbreak that’s killed 10 in New Jersey has infected two more children.
• Rumour has it that Amazon’s on the verge of announcing the location(s) of its new HQ (and a little birdie’s said it’ll be split between New York City and Virginia).
• Lyft is upping its efforts to compete with Uber. The company’s rolling out Lyft Rewards in several U.S. cities over the next few months.
• Online shoppers, rejoice. The latest update to Mozilla’s Firefox browser will help you shop smarter.
• Cool to Be Kind
Introduced on Nov. 13, 1998, by the World Kindness Movement (a coalition of nations’ kindness NGOs), World Kindness Day aims to highlight good deeds in the community.
• Love It or List It
If this isn’t a sign of impending divorce…