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✨ Good morning! Today is Wednesday, April 10, 2019 and the Royal Family just got a new princess.
BULLETIN: READY, KNESSET, GO
• The Background
The people of Israel have elected their new prime minister — kind of. After polls revealed a race that was too close to call right until the last vote was counted, it looks like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party will be re-elected. Though the final tally won’t come in till Friday, the Knesset (Israeli parliament) is predicting that the Likud party will claim 35 seats (or 29.2% of the votes), along with Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party (Kahol Lavan), which also claimed 35 seats. No other party came close to catching Likud or Blue and White, with Shas and United Torah Judaism (two right-wing ultra-Orthodox religious parties) both tying for third, claiming just eight seats and less than 10% of the vote. The equal division of votes means once again there won’t be a majority (it hasn’t happened since 1949) and the prime minister will be forced to form a coalition government. Global News
• What Else You Need to Know
Forming a coalition government in Israel is no easy feat. Forty different parties ran in last night’s election, but only 11 passed the minimum threshold to make it into parliament (3.25% of the vote or four seats in the Knesset). Forming a coalition will require negotiating with — and appeasing — a good number of those leaders. However, Netanyahu (a.k.a. Bibi) and Gantz were both confident they could do it. Both leaders claimed victory last night, with Gantz promising he’d be a prime minister for “all the people” and Netanyahu thanking Israeli citizens for “putting their trust” in him. But by early this morning, things looked a little different.
• What’s Next?
Now that the Knesset has some sense of who got how many votes, Israel’s president must consult with the leaders of every party that holds seats in parliament and find out who they’d like to become prime minister. Once those conversations have taken place, the president will pick the politician that he thinks has the best chance of putting together a coalition government. (Since Netanyahu’s been successfully running a coalition government for the past 10 years, it’s sure to be him.) If for some reason, he fails to form government in 42 days, then the president will pick someone else, and so on and so forth.
• Dirty Laundering
It looks like Aunt Becky may be going from Full House to the Big House. Lori Loughlin, along with 15 other wealthy parents, were hit with an additional charge of money laundering in the now infamous college admissions scandal. (The group had already been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud.) The new charge comes with a maximum sentence of 20 years(!), three years of supervised release and a fine of $500,000 (or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering). CNN
• World: Right This Way
Russian President Vladimir is continuing his efforts to take over the world. The polarizing leader announced plans yesterday to “secure Russia’s foothold in the Arctic,” which includes building new ports and expanding its icebreaker fleet from four to 13. Addressing leaders from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, Putin said that the number of shipments coming across the Arctic sea route is expected to increase from 20 million metric tons in 2018 to 80 million tons in 2025 — and that the group needs to make the route “safe and commercially feasible.” Putin also called on foreign investors to help build up ports on both sides of the route, along with ports along the way (which he said will need to be expanded and upgraded). Global News
• World: Party in the Street
Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s resignation hasn’t appeased Algeria’s students. The weeks-long youth-led protest continued yesterday after parliament officially confirmed Abdelkader Bensalah as interim leader for the next 90 days. The 76-year-old upper house speaker sparked protests as he’s been a key ally of the former president, and part of the same ruling party that the students have been trying to remove from power. Bensalah quickly promised to organize free elections within his 90-day tenure (he’s not eligible to run) and said he would “urgently” create a sovereign body to make sure the upcoming election was “honest and transparent.” Bensalah is just one of Bouteflika’s appointees that protestors want ousted: they also want to get rid of Noureddine Bedoui, appointed head of government, and Tayeb Belaiz, the chief of the Constitutional Council (who would replace Bensalah in the case he resigned). Al Jazeera
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Any unusual move by American forces in the region will be perceived as the behaviour of a terrorist group.”
– Iran’s Supreme National Security Council’s spokesman, Keivan Khosravi, responds to the U.S. government’s decision to declare the country’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Iranian lawmakers entered the open session of parliament yesterday chanting “Death to America.” CTV News
Remember the case of Gerard Comeau, the New Brunswick man who made national headlines for bringing his legal fight over an interprovincial beer run all the way to the Supreme Court? He may have lost that battle, but it looks like he won the war: Ottawa has introduced a new legislation removing federal barriers on the transport of beer, wine and spirits across provincial and territorial boundaries. The change will ditch a current rule that gives provincial liquor authorities sole domain over the movement of alcohol between provinces. Once passed, the legislation will pave the way for provinces to make changes of their own to allow for direct-to-consumer liquor sales across Canada. In a statement released yesterday, Internal Trade Minister Dominic LeBlanc said: “Removing barriers to trade between provinces and territories fosters economic growth, reduces the regulatory burden on our small and medium-sized businesses, and creates good, middle-class jobs across the country.” (Cheers to that 🍻) Global News
• Anti-Social Media Manager
Ever get that sneaking feeling someone is watching you? Of course you do, since by “someone” we mean every social media platform, and by “ever” we mean always. Enter Jumbo, a new app designed to demystify social media privacy settings by locking down all your accounts for you. Available on iOS now (and Android soon), Jumbo is billed as a “privacy assistant” and aims to reduce the amount of personal data left lingering around the “social web.” Log in to your Twitter account through the app (don’t worry, passwords are saved in your iOS keychain, so Jumbo can’t see or store them), and the “cleaning” service will purge (i.e. delete and archive) your past tweets. For Facebook, Jumbo acts as a “digital lawyer,” tailoring your privacy settings to “weak,” “medium,” or “strong” with one click. Jumbo also has privacy management features for Google and Amazon accounts, and hopes to add options for Instagram and Tinder in the future. The Verge
• Hockey: Big Winners
Last night, New Jersey won the lottery — the NHL Draft Lottery, that is. The Devils won the right to pick first in the 2019 NHL Draft, followed by the New York Rangers, who will pick second, and the Chicago Blackhawks, who will pick third. The Colorado Avalanche (No. 4), the Los Angeles Kings (No. 5), the Detroit Red Wings (No. 6), the Buffalo Sabres (No. 7), the Edmonton Oilers (No. 8), the Anaheim Ducks (No. 9) and the Vancouver Canucks (No. 10) rounded out the top 10. The win marks the Devils’ second No. 1 pick in three years, after winning the 2017 Draft Lottery and selecting center Nico Hischier. The 2019 NHL Draft is being held in Vancouver on June 21 and 22. NHL
• Super Soundtrack
The series of novels Game of Thrones is based on is titled A Song of Ice and Fire, so this news should come as no surprise: Columbia Records and HBO have partnered to announce an album of music inspired by the show. (Cue the victory horns.) Coming April 26, For The Throne: Music Inspired By The HBO Series will feature songs recorded for the series by a cast of artists as diverse as the Seven Kingdoms. Along with the recently announced (and highly anticipated) collab by SZA, The Weekend and Travis Scott, tracks will also include songs by the National, A$AP Rocky, Chloe x Halle, Ellie Goulding, Joey Bada$$, Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers and more. Fans can also pledge their allegiance to their preferred “house” with vinyl collector’s editions with unique cover art for Targaryen, Stark, Lannister, Tyrell, Martell, Baratheon, Tully, Arryn, and Greyjoy. Uproxx
• Smooth Criminal
If you have a deep-seated fear of an eventual robot uprising, well, this won’t help. An Oregon women called 911 to report a “burglary in progress” when she spotted shadows moving under the locked bathroom in her home, believing a stranger was hiding inside. Police arrived to the scene and surrounded the home, and even called in a K9 team for back-up. After shouting a warning over a loudspeaker, the cops rushed into the house, guns drawn, and busted open the bathroom door…only to find a Roomba Robotic Vacuum busily making its rounds inside. (We guess this brings new meaning to the phrase “cleaned out.”) KATU2
• Brothers and Sisters
Apologies to all the only children out there — today is National Siblings Day, celebrating that special bond that can only be nurtured through years of heart-to-heart talks, fighting over the remote, and lying to mom and dad to cover each other’s a$$es.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• After Britain sh*t the bed on Brexit, EU lawmakers decided to give British Prime Minister Theresa May her requested extension, but will likely push for a much longer timeline. (Details TBA today.)
• The measles outbreak in New York has gotten worse, forcing the city to declare a public health emergency.
• The Mueller report is on its way to the public. Attorney General William Barr said the redacted version would be out within a week.
• Ottawa raised holy hell yesterday when it announced that it was giving $12 million to Loblaw Companies Ltd. to install fridges with lower greenhouse gas emissions.
• Some of Canada’s biggest skating stars (think Stojko, Chan, and Virtue and Moir) are returning to the ice for a new cross-country tour called Rock The Rink.
• Technical Lockout
Parental controls were no match for this 3-year-old.