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✨ Good morning! Today is Tuesday, October 29, 2019, and 164 years is a little too long for our liking.
BULLETIN: HAUNTED HOUSE
• The Background
This might sound like a scary Halloween story, but sadly, it’s real life. Authorities in Mexico City are running extensive DNA tests after uncovering 42(!) human skulls in a drug gang’s hidden lair. Police found the skulls during a raid on the complex last week, where they also uncovered two methamphetamine labs, guns, grenades, a rocket launcher and 2.5 tons of marijuana. It’s likely that the skulls either belong to gang victims or were stolen from graveyards, though the details in the case are not yet clear. NBC News
• What Else You Need to Know
The raid was carried out on a drug trafficking hideaway in the inner-city neighbourhood of Tepito. The skulls, plus a fetus in a jar, were found carefully arranged within a structure that resembled an altar, complete with a cross, wooden masks, knives and a large photo of a horned goat in front of a pyramid.
• What’s Next?
In a country that celebrates the dead, the findings don’t necessarily point to murder. The DNA tests will be checked against a missing persons list and the results will be revealed in the near future.
• Continual Confinement
Remember the names Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig? If not, they’re the two Canadians who have been arbitrarily detained in China for the last 10 months. Global Affairs Canada confirmed yesterday that the two detainees have met with government officials several times to assess their health, provide legal advice and connect them to their families. The two men were arrested on Dec. 10, 2018, just 10 days after Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada. There’s still no word on why Spavor and Kovrig were arrested or when they’ll be released. CTV News
• U.S.: Shifting Gears
Thursday is turning out to be a big day in the impeachment inquiry. A federal judge has summoned a meeting with lawyers for the Trump White House, the House of Representatives and impeachment witness Charles Kupperman. This comes after Kupperman filed a lawsuit asking the federal court whether he needed to testify in the inquiry. Kupperman had been scheduled to testify on Monday, but didn’t show up. (Not exactly the best time to play hooky.) Meanwhile, House Democrats officially announced plans to hold their first formal vote on the impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Thursday. This marks the start of a new phase, as Democrats ready themselves to go public with their ongoing investigation into Trump’s allegedly nefarious dealings with Ukraine. CNN
• World: Girl Power
After 189 years of men in power, Belgium’s first female leader has officially taken office as interim prime minister. Sophie Wilmès, who succeeded Charles Michel, belongs to the liberal-centrist MR Party, and is taking on the role without a parliamentary majority. The country has not had a full federal government since a coalition, with Michel at the helm, failed in December 2018. Wilmès says that leading a temporary government doesn’t leave her with much opportunity to act, and urged the formation of a full government as soon as possible. The Guardian
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We cannot continue with this endless delay.”
– U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, after lawmakers rejected his early election proposal, delaying Brexit to Jan. 31, 2020. CTV News
• Blue Box Buyout
The jeweller known for its iconic little blue boxes may soon be bought out. Louis Vuitton (LVMH), the French luxury goods giant, has officially confirmed its interest in buying Tiffany & Co., and the two companies are currently in preliminary discussions. An all-cash proposal from LVMH values Tiffany at roughly $14.5 billion — which amounts to $120 per share. Following the announcement, shares of Tiffany soared more than 30%, suggesting investors are likely expecting an even higher offer in the near future. CTV News
• Pods Go Pro
It was only a matter of time before Apple unveiled a Pro version of its increasingly popular AirPods. The new noise-cancelling AirPods Pro will be released tomorrow, and will set you back a whopping $329, which is $110 more than the original Pods. Coupled with the noise cancellation feature, the AirPods Pro will also have a “force sensor” that controls music playback and activates transparency mode if you wish to hear outside sounds while you listen. The spiffy new pods come with flexible ear tips for a more secure fit, three sizes of silicone tips and a feature called “Adaptive EQ,” which “automatically tunes music to the shape of your ear.” The Verge
• Tennis: Strike One
Canada’s rising tennis star had a hard time competing with Romania’s Simona Halep yesterday, losing her first match of the WTA Finals (3-6, 7-6, 6-3). The teen tennis phenom appeared stiff during the match, and a trainer worked on her back before the third set. Andreescu entered the tournament in Shenzhen, China, as the No. 4-seeded player in the world, after winning the U.S. Open in September. One of only eight women’s singles players invited to participate in the tournament, Andreescu is next scheduled to face No. 2 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic early Wednesday morning. After a round-robin, the top two players from each pool will advance to the semifinals. CBC Sports
• Scrooge Sings
Melodic mastermind Bill Condon is once again teaming up with Disney to give one of the most famous Christmas movies of all time the musical treatment. The new version of A Christmas Carol will follow the perspective of Jacob Marley, the ex-business partner of Ebenezer Scrooge, as he sends the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future to his former partner. Not to be outdone by Apple (which is apparently working on its own remake of the film starring Ryan Reynolds and Will Farrell), the project has several Oscar nominees and winners attached, including composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz, who helped pen the catchy AF tunes in Wicked. Deadline
• Dead or Alive
There are few things weirder than faking your own death, but it turns out at least one guy was willing to do just that to avoid paying a debt. A poor Australian woman was told her ex-boyfriend had died after the two broke up. Things had gotten complicated when her then-boyfriend lost his job and begged her for money. So, she did what any lovestruck 18-year-old would do — she gave it to him. He didn’t pay her back and suddenly stopped answering her messages. Eventually, she received a text from her ex’s mother saying her son had died. (Really, Mom?) The woman grieved and moved on — until two years later, when she ran into her “dead” ex-boyfriend at a local restaurant, very much alive and working as a server. (Now, that’s what we call getting ghosted.) The Mirror
• The Loneliest Number
Four years ago today, China announced the end of its one-child policy after 35 years.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• An 84-year-old man suspected of firing shots outside a mosque in France that seriously injured two has been arrested.
• Former U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has died at age 66 after suffering from a prolonged illness. Hagan contracted a rare virus in 2016 that spreads from ticks to humans, which caused encephalitis, or brain inflammation.
• Argentina has a new president. Centre-left opposition candidate Alberto Fernández earned more than 45% of the vote, beating out incumbent Mauricio Macri.
• Hong Kong has fallen into a recession, which is being blamed on a drop in tourism due to more than five months of violent protests.
• Ford Motor Co. will cut 450 jobs at its assembly plant in Oakville, Ont., by next year and is halting production on two models amid weak sales.
• Iconic Hollywood producer Robert Evans, credited with bringing hits such as the The Godfather, Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby to the big screen, has died at the age of 89.
• Mommy and Me
Guess you could call her a narcissist.