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✨ Good morning! Today is Thursday, July 11, 2019, and some Atlanta residents are having a really good week.
BULLETIN: PRESSING PAUSE
• The Background
There’s good news for prospective homebuyers and homeowners: the Bank of Canada isn’t budging on its key interest rate. Governor Stephen Poloz made the announcement yesterday, sharing that the Bank of Canada would be holding its key interest rate at 1.75%. This marks the sixth straight meeting where the central bank decided to press pause, and there are no signs that anything’s going to change anytime soon. Yesterday, the U.S. Federal Reserve even suggested that it may cut rates due to “trade tensions, a slowing global economy and muted inflation.” (Don’t expect the same behaviour from BoC though — it said Canada “is returning to potential growth.”) CTV News
• What Else You Need to Know
Much like the U.S., Canada’s central bank said it was keeping rates the same thanks to “widening global trade conflicts” that are wreaking havoc on our economy. We had a particularly rough stretch in late 2018 and early 2019, and the trade issues are threatening what the bank believed would be a “stronger-than-expected rebound.” In addition to its decision on the key interest rate, the bank also downgraded its 2019 global growth forecast to 3% (from 3.2%) and said Canada’s gross domestic product will likely fall by as much as 2% by 2021.
• What’s Next?
The U.S. Federal Reserve will make its rate announcement later this month, while the Bank of Canada’s next announcement will come on Wed., Sept. 4, 2019.
• Sights from Space
The severity of the earthquake that rocked California’s Mojave desert on July 5 is now visible from space. The 7.1-magnitude quake, which followed a 6.4-magnitude foreshock, left a large, clearly discernible crack in the surface of the earth. Planet Lab, a privately owned U.S.-based Earth imaging company detected the crack, and shared satellite images of an area just north of Ridgecrest, California, before and after the earthquake. The notable rupture is evidence of dewatering — a process that happens when water and sediment spurt up from ground, triggered by the earthquake’s tremors. The July 5 quake was Southern California’s largest in 20 years. CTV News
• Canada: Big Bucks for Beef
If you’ve been reading the Daily Bullet, you’re probably aware of Canada’s recent beef (pun intended) with China. The complicated standoff resulted in China announcing that it’s suspending Canadian meat imports. But yesterday, Ottawa announced that it was stepped in to help. According to federal agriculture minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, the government is coughing up $8.3 million to support Canada’s meat industry. The majority of the funds with go to a marketing organization called Canada Beef, which aims to grow beef sales internationally. Globe and Mail
• World: Free Press, Please
We already know the importance of protecting the free press, but over the last year in particular, it became clear that several countries don’t (ahem, Saudi Arabia, we’re looking at you). Canada is doing us proud and joining the U.K. in a push to promote more protections for journalists and the media. A two-day conference in London (initiated by U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland) brought together politicians, officials, activists and journalists from more than 100 countries to discuss press freedom initiatives. Two Russian media outlets, Sputnik and RT, were barred from the event by the British government, who condemned “their active role in spreading disinformation.” Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney was in attendance, and she expressed disappointment in the lack of global response to Jamal Khashoggi’s killing. Clooney also fired shots at POTUS, who she referred to as “a leader who vilifies the media.” According to UNESCO, 99 journalists were murdered worldwide in 2018. CBC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The fact that Sir Kim has been bullied out of his job, because of Donald Trump’s tantrums and Boris Johnson’s pathetic lickspittle response, is something that shames our country.”
– British politician, Emily Thornberry, responds to the news that Kim Darroch is resigning as the U.K. ambassador to the U.S., after his less-than-flattering comments about the Trump administration were leaked. New York Times
• A Financial First
Yesterday was a monumental day for the markets, as the S&P 500 hit 3,000 points for the first time ever. The S&P 500 is an index of 500 large-cap U.S. companies, and it’s considered a benchmark for the overall performance of the stock market. It just had the best first half of a year in decades, gaining more than 17% in only six months. Not only was yesterday a historic day for the S&P 500, but the Dow and the Nasdaq all hit new intraday records. CNN
• Travelling Lite
For gamers who can’t be without their consoles, this one’s for you. Nintendo just unveiled its newest iteration of the Switch hybrid game console, a smaller, less expensive, more portable version of the original. The compact, all-in-one hardware will make the Switch resemble a Game Boy or Nintendo DS (#TBT), rather than the original model with detachable Joy-Con controllers (though you can still use those with the Switch Lite). The handheld device, which features a 5.5-inch screen, cannot connect to a TV for big-screen play, but it does comes in three colours: yellow, grey and turquoise, and boasts longer battery life, ranging from three to seven hours of play. All games in the Nintendo Switch library that support handheld mode can be played on the Switch Lite, but some games will have restrictions. The Switch Lite will go for US $199.99 and will be released on Sept. 20, 2019. Polygon
• Stars in Sports
Between the MLB All-Star Game and the opening of the NBA’s free agency period(😥), It’s been a big week in the sports world — but it’s not over yet. Last night, ESPN held the 27th annual ESPY Awards, one of the most anticipated events for fans and athletes alike. Comedian Tracy Morgan hosted, while some big names picked up some big awards. New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees picked up the ESPY for best record-breaking performance (he broke the NFL’s all-time record for passing yards in one behemoth Monday night game). Fresh off her gold medal win, Alex Morgan of the U.S. women’s national soccer team won best female athlete; Lindsey Vonn, Rob Gronkowski and Dwyane Wade were honoured with best moment, after all three wrapped up incredible careers this year; and Canada’s Brooke Henderson picked up the award for best female golfer. You can see all the winners here.
• The Rich(est) and Famous
It’s no surprise that some celebrities make serious bank. But the magnitude of annual earnings for certain superstars is actually astounding. Forbes released its list of the world’s highest-paid celebs in 2019, and the starting amount to even be considered for this year’s list was a casual $37.5 million — a 7% increase from last year. The world’s 100 highest-paid stars racked up a cumulative $6.3 billion in pretax earnings over the last 12 months alone. Taylor Swift stole the top spot, with her 2018 “Reputation” tour grossing $266.1 million — making it the highest grossing tour in U.S. history. Runner-up is 21-year-old Kylie Jenner, who’s now known as the youngest “self-made” billionaire ever. Her brother-in-law, Kanye West, clinched the third spot; his Yeezy empire brought in an estimated $1 billion in sales in the last 12 months. Other high-rolling celebs on the top 100 list include Roger Federer, J.K Rowling, Ellen DeGeneres and Adam Sandler. Forbes
📖👀🎧 THE WEEKEND PLAYLIST
We’re getting personal and asking some of our fave people to share their playlist picks. In this week’s edition, find out which content is consuming our fearless leader, Joanna Track (all the way in sunny California!).
Conspiracy by Ryan Holiday. It’s the story of how Peter Thiel (of PayPal fame) took down Gawker. It reads like a novel, and informs like a news reel. I can’t put it down.
Dead to Me on Netflix. It’s dark comedy at its finest (and darkest), and with 30-minute episodes, it’s a quick binge.
My go-to podcast while walking my dog is Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. I’ve become the crazy lady laughing out loud while walking down the street! So far my favourite episodes are the ones with Jeff Garlin, Esther Perel and Chelsea Handler.
• To Die For
We’re all familiar with the unpleasant feeling of needing to unbutton our pants before a meal has even ended. But still, we indulge from time to time, ’cause occasionally, that feeling is worth it. A Scottish chef is bringing the phenomenon of overeating to new extremes, with a takeaway meal dubbed “mega death.” (We know, not exactly the most enticing name for an entrée.) The munchie box is filled to the brim with fried food, totalling a 4,000-calorie meal. The restaurant (which is ironically called Wee Man’s Kitchen) is selling the box for $50, which includes a 12-inch pizza, accompanied by chips, curry, buffalo wings, battered sausages, cheddar slaw, and a plethora of other oil-drenched delicacies. According to the chef, the range of snacks could “give you a beautiful heart attack.” (Um, yum?) Shockingly, the munchie box has already proven itself to be ‘”very popular” with families and some individuals who clearly love to chow down. Mirror
• Birthday Brain Freeze
Convenience store king, 7-Eleven, is celebrating its 92nd birthday today by giving out free Slurpees. The chain will be handing out an estimated nine million free frozen drinks while supplies last (which likely won’t be very long).
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Turns out, it’s actually not so smart to eat Eat Smart Kale Salad, which was recalled due to possible listeria contamination.
• Toronto and Windsor police seized over $5.4 million worth of drugs (along with cash and weapons) in a massive bust dubbed “Project Oz.”
• Jay-Z is making the move from rapping to rolling. He signed a multiyear deal as a chief brand strategist for California cannabis company, Caliva.
• Speaking of star power, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith just announced a new multimedia company, which will back all their projects moving forward.
• Sweet dreams are made of this: Marilyn Manson is set to star in an upcoming adaption of Stephen King’s The Stand.
• Don’t Do It For the Gram
When a seemingly perfect place to snap a pic is actually a toxic ash dump.