Subscribe to The Bullet to get a quick shot of daily news to your inbox.
✨ Good morning! Today is Tuesday, March 26, 2019 and our teenage hearts are having a total meltdown.
BULLETIN: A FRUITFUL ANNOUNCEMENT
• The Background
Apple is going all in. In a star-studded special event (Oprah, Reese, Jen, oh my!) at the company’s California headquarters, CEO Tim Cook made some major announcements that marked a serious shift in the device-maker’s strategy. Among the industry-changing revelations: Apple’s new streaming service launching this fall, Apple TV+, which will be available via smart devices, much like Netflix or Amazon Prime; Apple News+, a digital subscription service ($12.99 per month) that gives users access to some of the world’s most popular titles; Apple Card, the company’s first foray into financial credit services, in partnership with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard; and Apple Arcade, a new gaming subscription service that will offer more than 100 brand new, original ad-free games. (All in a day’s work!) Financial Post
• What Else You Need to Know
Apple TV+ is launching with an A-list, er, list of stars, which will bring some binge-worthy programming to TV screens around the world. Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg is reimagining the ’80s series Amazing Stories for a modern audience; Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon (the duo behind The Big Sick) are bringing an anthology series to the service that follows the true stories of “everyday Americans”; Reese Witherspoon, Jen Aniston and Steve Carrell’s The Morning Show is definitely a go; and J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles are teaming up for a series about finding your voice in your 20s. In addition, Oprah’s on board for a few documentaries, and plans to reinvent her book club in a new format that will be exclusively available on Apple TV+.
• What’s Next?
The new services all seem to be launching this fall (so keep your eyes peeled), except for the credit card (Apple Card) which, for now, will only be available in the U.S.
• U.S.: Playing Dirty
Michael Avenatti may have spent the past few months accusing Donald Trump of being a criminal, but it looks like he’s the one heading to jail. The lawyer and longtime critic of the president was arrested yesterday on charges of extortion and bank and wire fraud. (Pot, kettle, black?) According to authorities, Avenatti tried to extort more than $20 million from Nike, after he claimed to have knowledge of a bribery scheme involving the company. He’s also accused of embezzling a client’s money to pay his own personal and business expenses, along with using fraudulent tax returns to get millions of dollars in bank loans. If convicted, Avenatti could face up to 50 years in prison. (Lawyers do the darndest things.) CBC News
• World: Exerting Control
If Brexit is going to go through, Theresa May won’t be responsible. Yesterday, British lawmakers voted to take control of the separation process away from the government. Thirty Conservative MPs split from their party to support the amendment, which gives parliament control of the government’s agenda on Wednesday, allowing them to table several alternative options. Among the possibiltiies? A second referendum, leaving with no deal, and a Norway-style deal with the EU, which would give the U.K. full access to the single market and the European Free Trade area. CNN
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“This was a long time in the making.”
– President Donald Trump, after signing a proclamation announcing that the U.S. will officially recognize Golan Heights (long considered Israeli-occupied territory by countries around the world) as a part of Israel. The United Nations, including Canada, disagree with Trump’s stance. (In other Israeli news, the IDF targeted the Gaza Strip yesterday, after more than 30 rockets were fired into Israel Sunday night.) CNN
• Clean Up Your Act
Calgary-based TransAlta Corp. is looking to the future, and it’s getting a little help from its friends to get it there. Yesterday, the oil company announced it will receive a $750 million investment from Brookfield Asset Management to fund its pivot to clean energy production. Specifically, the funds will come from Brookfield Renewable Partners. In return, Brookfield will get a share in ownership of TransAlta’s future hydro assets in Alberta. TransAlta plans to spend $350 million of the investment on a transition strategy for phasing out its coal to gas operations, up to $250 million on share buybacks. The rest of the money will go towards developing new and existing projects. Yahoo! Finance
• Let’s Play
Apple’s not the only one with big gaming news. Sony streamed its first State of Playbroadcast yesterday, giving gamers a look at hottest PlayStation releases coming in the next year. Most of the announcements showcased titles for the new PlayStation VR bundle, including Marvel’s Iron Man and space simulator No Man’s Sky, but more nostalgic fans will get excited for Mortal Kombat 11. On the console front, news also broke that Nintendo is expected to launch two new models of its Switch device: one with “enhanced features targeted at avid video gamers” that takes a (small) step towards competing with the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, as well a “cheaper option for casual gamers,” targeted as a successor to the 3DS handheld. And, if you had any doubt the esports boom is more than a fad, consider planning a visit to Philadelphia in 2021, where the $50 million Fusion Arena is under construction. The 60,000-square-foot venue will be the first dedicated esports arena in North America.
• Wrestling: Girl Fight
Call it the Glow effect: For the first time ever, the WWE is putting a women’s fight in its top slot. WrestleMania 35 will turn the spotlight on the ladies with a Triple Threat match pitting Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch against each other for the main event. On April 7, the three will fight for the title of WrestleMania Raw Women’s Champion at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Further down the ticket, the so-called “Showcase of the Immortals” will also feature supporting fights from top WWE performers, like Triple H versus Batista and Brock Lesner versus Seth Rollins. Forbes
• Never Mind the Bollocks…
Another musical biopic is set to follow in the dance steps of Bohemian Rhapsody‘s success. The story of how Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones, Paul Cook and Glen Matlock Sid Vicious — better known as the Sex Pistols — became the fathers of punk rock will be told on the big screen, thanks to Starlight Films and filmakers Ayesha Plunkett. Plunkett revealed she’s already 18 months deep into pre-production for the film and casting will soon be underway. The team already has actors in mind for who they hope to sign in the roles of band manager Malcolm McLaren and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, whose characters are expected to be the central stars of the plot. (Maybe we should make that headline “Never Mind the Sex Pistols.”) CTV News
• Wrong Turn
Air travel is having one helluva month. Yesterday, a British Airways flight destined for Germany made a wrong turn somewhere between cloud A and cloud B and instead, landed in Scotland. Passengers were obviously peeved with the mistake, which most only discovered after landing when pilots made their standard “welcome to…” announcement. Instead of arriving in Düsseldorf as planned, the plane was actually in Edinburgh. (Seems like an easy mistake. 🙄) Luckily, once airport authorities realized their error, the plane was back up in the air (just two-and-a-half hours later) and on its way to its intended destination. BBC News
• House Party
Today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi turns 79 years old. (Wonder what she wants for her birthday?)
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• The remaining eight years of Omar Khadr’s prison sentence (for killing a U.S. soldier when he was 15) have basically been terminated.
• Norway has opened an investigation to determine why in the world a cruise ship set sail, when it had been warned about stormy weather.
• Cannabis company Canopy Growth has received a cultivation license from Health Canada that will allow it to create more than 130 jobs in the Fredericton area.
• Indigo CEO Heather Reisman and her husband (CEO of Toronto-based private equity firm Onex Corp.) Gerry Schwartz donated $100 million to the University of Toronto yesterday, to fund the school’s research in innovation and artificial intelligence projects.
• Food Drive
As if we needed this to be any effin’ easier.