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✨Good morning! Today is Friday, June 21, 2019, and we hope none of you ever need this how-to video.
BULLETIN: TRUMP CHANGE
• The Background
In a cross-border conversation ahead of the upcoming G20 summit, the leaders of neighbouring nations met for a discussion. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined President Donald Trump in the Oval Office to talk about several hot-button topics (including Iran) with a focus on the strained relationship between the U.S. and China. (Obviously, Canada’s gotten caught in the middle.) President Trump vowed to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the two Canadians still detained in China (Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig) when they meet next week to talk trade. As per usual, POTUS made big promises: “We have a meeting set up with President Xi and it’s obviously on the big transaction that we’re talking about and negotiating. Our people are actually speaking now. We’ll see what happens, but anything I can do to help Canada I will be doing.” CTV News
• What Else You Need to Know
The central purpose of the meeting was to push the new North American trade agreement across the finish line. Canada has already started the process, while Mexico voted Wednesday to ratify the deal, marking a critical step forward. The only country lagging behind is the U.S., and to ratify the deal, Trump will have to convince Democrats to move forward. However, always the eternal optimist, Trump said he believes Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats will “do the right thing.”
• What’s Next?
And he might actually be right. Trudeau met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shortly after his meeting with POTUS, and she seemed to agree, “Canada is our trusted neighbour, our relationship is a warm one and it is an honour again to have the prime minister visit.” (Sounds pretty damn promising.)
• Adding Fuel To the Fire
Tensions are mounting in an already rocky relationship between the U.S. and Iran, after the Middle Eastern nation shot down a U.S. military drone. To make matters worse, the incident comes just one week after the Gulf of Oman tanker attacks. While Iran claims it shot down an “intruding American spy drone” after it entered the country’s territory, the U.S. argues the incident took place in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz, a critical shipping route. The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps said shooting down the drone was a warning to the U.S. saying, “the only way for our enemies to be safe is to respect our sovereignty, national security and national interests of the great Iranian nation.” In response to the attack, President Trump said Iran made a “very bad mistake” and that the public will “find out” about the U.S. plan for retaliation. News broke early this morning from an anonymous senior official from the Trump administration revealing that military strikes against Iran had been imminent, with the targets including radars and missile batteries, and that Trump had approved them before calling them off at the last minute. (Does this mean war?) CNN
• Canada: Fin-ished With Cruelty
It’s one small step for activists, and one giant step for shark-kind. It was announced late yesterday afternoon that part of Canada’s Fisheries Act overhaul will include a complete ban on the shark fin trade. The announcement was made in front of a mural dedicated to Sharkwater director and activist Rob Stewart. It has been illegal to cut off shark fins in Canada since 1994, but previously, there were no prohibitions on bringing them into the country and the trade has actually thrived, worth roughly $3.2 million last year alone. The move means Canada is the first G20 country to outlaw the trade. (Seriously?) Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in Toronto yesterday, “We recognize the clear threat that the shark fin trade poses to the sustainability of our oceans. The practice is simply not sustainable, and it is inhumane.” Global News
• World: Boris’ Big Win
Boris Johnson, former foreign secretary and London mayor, could very well be Britain’s next prime minister. In a landslide win, he secured the highest number of votes in the first ballot to select the Conservative Party leader and incoming prime minister. Johnson beat out opponents with a whopping 114 votes, a big win over his nearest rival, Jeremy Hunt, who only got 43. The next round of voting will be next week, and the two candidates who prove most popular will go on to a final vote among Conservative Party members later in June. The official winner, and Theresa May’s predecessor, will be announced the week of July 22. BBC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The dynamics at play are not black and white.”
– Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, tries to convince his Republican colleagues to support President Trump’s arms sale to Saudi Arabia. They didn’t listen — and the bills to block the sales passed (all 22 of them). Trump has threatened to veto the bills. The Hill
• Identity Thief
It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch, and things at Desjardins are looking a little sour this morning. It was announced yesterday that an employee compromised the personal data of over 2.9 million members in a leak to outside individuals. Because the leak came from the inside, it’s not considered a cyber-attack, and the employee has since been fired. (We sure as hell hope so.) The compromised info included first and last names, birth dates, SIN numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and banking details. (We’re seeing a lot of paperwork in the victims’ futures. 😬) Desjardins was quick to reassure customers that their Desjardins accounts and assets are protected in the event of identity theft, and Canada’s credit union has also offered those affected a free credit-monitoring program and identity theft protection for the next 12 months. CTV News
• Light It Up
Move over Wi-Fi — Li-Fi’s coming to town. The company previously known as Philips Lighting and now known as Signify just announced a new range of products that are truly lit (pun intended). The innovative new products are able to transmit data using light waves instead of radio signals (which are used by 4G or Wi-Fi) and can reach speeds of 250Mbps. Users will need to plug a USB key into their laptops in order to get connected to a Li-Fi signal. Unfortunately, the lights aren’t quite ready for the average consumer — Signify’s currently targeting the new products to office buildings and other professional settings. The official release date is still TBD. MobileSyrup
• Basketball: Top Picks
The 2018 NBA season may have just wrapped up (and yes, we’re still celebrating), but the league is already looking ahead. Last night, teams gathered in New York for the 2019 NBA Draft. The New Orleans Pelicans had the No. 1 pick, and they selected Zion Williamson, a 6’7″ small forward out of Duke. The second overall pick sent Ja Morant (a point guard from Murray State) to the Memphis Grizzlies, while Duke’s small forward RJ Barrett (a good Canadian boy out of Mississauga) was selected third by the New York Knicks. There were a number of trades that kept things exciting as the night went on, but the Los Angeles Lakers ended up with the fourth pick, taking De’andre Hunter (who may or may not be going to the Hawks after a trade) and the Cleveland Cavaliers had the fifth pick, adding Darius Garland to their roster. TSN
• One Reel Music Deal
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke announced yesterday he’s releasing new music (and soon!). His new solo album, Anima, is hitting digital platforms June 27, along with a “one-reeler” collaboration with filmmaker and director Paul Thomas Anderson. The “one-reeler,” set to three tracks on the album, will be available exclusively on Netflix. Old-school Radiohead fans will have to wait until July 19 for the physical release, which includes a CD, black double vinyl, limited-edition orange double vinyl, and a deluxe 180g heavyweight orange double vinyl (“A what?” said millennials everywhere) which also comes with a 40-page lyric book with pencil drawings by Stanley Donwood and Dr Tchock. Several of the songs have debuted live over the course of the “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes” tour (new dates were announced earlier this week). Vinyl connoisseurs will also be treated to an exclusive bonus track, “Ladies & Gentlemen, Thank You for Coming.” Variety
• Green Cuisine
Amid a recently declared national climate emergency, fast food restaurants are doing their part for the planet. Two Canadian McDonald’s locations will act as guinea pigs for the company’s greener packaging plan, which includes using wooden utensils, paper straws and other eco-friendly packaging materials in place of plastic. In addition to A&W vowing to use only compostable straws, Tim Hortons introduced a new, 100% recyclable lid, which will be rolling out later this summer, and Starbucks plans to entirely eliminate plastic straws worldwide by 2020. Finally, Loblaws is testing out a reusable container system in partnership with Loop — a shopping system designed to reduce waste. Starting in 2020, pilot participants will receive select products in reusable containers, delivered directly to their door. BNN Bloomberg
• Hot Rage
Some people are somethin’ else. Annie Durham from Oklahoma was arrested on second-degree arson charges after her own security footage indicted her as the flame-thrower (literally and figuratively) that caused the fire in the house next door. Though the house had already been condemned by authorities and was empty, Annie’s grudge with her neighbours was, apparently, still burning strong. Investigators (who, thankfully, found that nobody had been injured in the blaze) were given permission by Durham herself to view the password-protected security footage from her camera that was pointed directly at her neighbours’ garage (which was also where the fire started). Lo and behold, surveillance footage showed Annie throwing a flaming object over her fence into the neighbour’s window. Fox News
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Several of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet ministers (including Vic Fedeli, Lisa MacLeod and Lisa Thompson) have been demoted in a major cabinet shuffle.
• Speaking of Ontario, five men have been busted for their involvement in a “big-box store” of child pornography, which was accessed by 60,000 people.
• B.C.’s health minister has called for federal intervention, after a study showed a 74% increase in teen vaping across the country in a single year.
• We finally know exactly what former White House communications director Hope Hicks said in her closed-door testimony on Wednesday — and it wasn’t a whole heck of a lot.
• A Hezbollah agent based in the U.S. visited Toronto Pearson Airport seven times to gather information about its security measures.
• The Tampa Bay Rays have gotten permission to explore becoming a two-city team, splitting their season between Florida and Montreal.
• Walking On Sunshine
The countdown is over: summer has officially arrived. The summer solstice marks the beginning of astronomical summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This year, it falls at 11:54am ET — the precise moment the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, making today the longest day of the year. So soak up the sunshine, Bullet readers, you know the season doesn’t last long.
• Sneak a Snack
Seriously though, this is nuts.