✨ Good morning! Today is Monday, July 15, 2019, and this is the royal duo we never knew we needed.
BULLETIN: AS COLD AS ICE
• The Background
The long-threatened raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) finally got started yesterday. A senior U.S. official claimed the raids started off slow, confirming that only a handful of arrests had taken place as of yesterday afternoon. The raids — part of the Trump administration’s latest operation to target 2,000 illegal immigrants — were originally scheduled as a big one-day bonanza, but the White House changed its plan after migrant communities caught wind of the upcoming raids, and decided to do a series of smaller sweeps over the next few weeks. Naturally, the White House defended the need for planned immigration raids, claiming that ICE was targeting violent criminals as opposed to the undocumented migrant population as a whole. NBC News
• What Else You Need to Know
Meanwhile, communities prepared for the anticipated raids; churches opened their doors to anyone wanting to take refuge and gathered food and water to deliver to families too afraid to leave their homes for groceries. The looming raids sparked fear and protests across the U.S., with advocacy groups and legal observers monitoring the situation closely.
• What’s Next?
Though the Trump administration has remained tight-lipped about the details of the raids, more arrests are expected to take place in as many as 10 cities over the next few days.
• Big Apple Blackout
The city that never sleeps (a.k.a. New York City) went dark for several hours, trapping thousands of people in elevators, subway cars and small spaces with no light. The power outage began Saturday evening, affecting at least 72,000 customers in midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side. Even the iconic Times Square, typically flashing with blindingly bright billboards, went black, as did Jennifer Lopez’s concert at Madison Square Garden, where the sound system went silent mid-show. Pedestrians were forced to direct traffic, as signals were out, creating multiple jams. When lights suddenly started to flicker back on around midnight, New Yorkers broke out in a collective cheer. Officials have not yet confirmed what caused the outage, but it was likely the result of a mechanical problem. CNN
• U.S.: Trouble in Paradise
The Puerto Rican government has had a rough week. First, its former education secretary, Julia Keleher, was arrested by the FBI on charges of funnelling $15.5 million to “unqualified, politically connected contractors.” Then a chat stream between Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rossello and other officials wherein Rossello referred to New York City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito as a “whore” and dropped the F-bomb, followed by a string of middle-finger emojis, was made public, prompting Puerto Ricans to call for the governor’s resignation as leader of the U.S. territory. While Rossello has apologized, blaming his comments and profanity on stress, he’s refused to step down, allowing his chief financial officer and secretary of state to take the bullet for him instead — their resignations were announced late last week. Global News
• World: Space Invasion
French President Emmanuel Macron has announced France’s plan to add a space command within the air force to improve the country’s defense capabilities. (Do they know something we don’t?) The program is set to be introduced next September amid what French Defense Minister Florence Parly has referred to as threats to increasingly militarize space exploration and technology. U.S. President Donald Trump previously announced a plan to add a new “Space Force” as the sixth branch of their military by 2020, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization plans to recognize space as a war domain later this year (you know, because all of Earth isn’t enough). Reuters
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested place from which they came?”
– In a series of racist tweets, President Donald Trump attacked progressive congresswomen, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley (all women of colour), who have recently spoken out against Trump’s immigration policies. BuzzFeed News
• Barneys Bankruptcy Talks
In an increasingly difficult retail market, luxury department store Barneys New York is preparing to file for bankruptcy, possibly as early as this month. A rent hike at the Manhattan flagship’s location has spurred a liquidity crunch and inside sources claim Barneys has hired law firm Kirkland & Ellis as well as financial advisers to explore all options, including ways to avoid filing for bankruptcy. Barneys joins a long lineup of struggling big-box retailers, including Nordstrom, Saks Off Fifth (owned by Hudson’s Bay), and Macy’s. Manhattan’s rent is proving too high to handle — Ralph Lauren closed up its Fifth Avenue shop in 2017, and neighbour Lord & Taylor shut its doors in January. CNBC
• Tennis: Winning Wimbleton
This year’s Wimbledon championship was one that defied the odds in both the women’s and men’s All England Club championship. Twenty-seven-year-old Romanian Simona Halep took on and quickly defeated 37-year-old American (and fan favourite) Serena Williams to win her first ever Wimbledon title and second major, after winning at last year’s French Open. In all, it took Halep less than an hour to defeat the tennis all-star, who later congratulated Halep on such a strong match. The men’s final took a gruelling five hours, but Novak Djokovic eventually came out on top of opponent Roger Federer while simultaneously becoming the first man in 71 years to take home the trophy after needing to erase championship points; it’s his fifth Wimbledon title and second in a row.
• Sex Scandal Saga
What do R. Kelly and Jacob Hoggard have in common? It certainly isn’t their music. Both have pleaded not guilty to sex crime charges filed against them. R. Kelly was arrested on Thursday and currently sits behind bars after members of his inner circle handed over more than 20 videos allegedly depicting the former R&B singer having sex with underage girls. His charges include over 13 indictments ranging from kidnapping to the sexual exploitation of a child. On the northern side of the border, Canada’s Hedley frontman Hoggard is set to stand trial in Toronto on two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one count of sexual interference. He has requested to be tried by a jury.
• Drink Designations
Choosing a name for a child is typically a difficult decision to make (or at least it should be). Prospective parents often agonize over names for months prior to the birth, weighing the pros and cons of each option. But a couple from East Yorkshire, England, are demonstrating that not everyone thinks the naming process through. The couple named two of their children Jackdaniels and Tiamarie, both well-known alcoholic spirits. The parents, who have been shamed online for their poor name choices, argue the children are not named after booze. In fact, they claim to have been teetotal when naming their kids, which explains how neither of them were familiar with the popular spirits. Their son, Jackdaniels, was apparently named after a Canadian runner, while their daughter, Tiamarie, was named for a Spanish waitress they knew. The couple vows that the two alcohol-related names are purely accidental. Manchester Evening News
• Prime Time
Today is Amazon Prime Day, an annual 36-hour shopping event that’s exclusive to Prime members. Expect deep discounts on some Amazon staples, including the Fire TV Stick, Kindle Paperwhite and the Facebook Portal.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• A 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Indonesia yesterday, causing widespread damage and forcing residents to flee.
• Close to 900 food products from China were flagged by Canadian officials over concerns about faulty labels.
• A motion to approve same-sex marriage in the Anglican Church of Canada was two votes shy of passing.
• The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Huawei has plans to layoff hundreds of U.S. workers at the company’s research and development subsidiary, Futurewei Technologies.
• Looks like there may be a new 007 in the James Bond franchise, but there’s a twist.
• Total Recall
Talk about going back to the future.