Things aren’t going as planned

Planned Parenthood declines federal funding over abortion laws, Ottawa is investing big money in public transit and Disney+ is coming to Canada.

Things aren’t going as planned

Planned Parenthood declines federal funding over abortion laws, Ottawa is investing big money in public transit and Disney+ is coming to Canada.
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 18:  A sign hangs above a Planned Parenthood clinic on May 18, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Trump administration is expected to announce a plan for massive funding cuts to Planned Parenthood and other taxpayer-backed abortion providers by reinstating a Reagan-era rule that prohibits federal funding from going to clinics that discuss abortion with women or that share space with abortion providers.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

✨  Good morning! Today is Tuesday, August 20, 2019, and residents of Langley, B.C., should clear their calendars on Sept. 7. 


• The Background

Planned Parenthood has made a bold move, rejecting federal funding that helps support family planning for low-income women. While this seems like a silly thing to do, the organization is opting out of the funding because it refuses to comply with a Trump administration rule that forbids referring women to doctors who will perform abortions. The federal program, known as Title X, provides Planned Parenthood with $286 million, $60 million of which goes to helping 1.5 million low-income women with services like pregnancy tests, screenings and birth control. New York Times 

• What Else You Need to Know

The organization’s decision to stop accepting the money is complicated. For one, it’s a win for anti-abortion advocates, who have long fought for the federal government to cut off its support of Planned Parenthood. On the other hand, the president of Planned Parenthood accused the Trump administration of forcing the group out of the Title X program, saying “when you have an unethical rule that will limit what providers can tell our patients, it becomes really important that we do not agree to be in the program.”

• What’s Next?

Planned Parenthood, as well as other organizations, say Trump’s restrictive rule would negatively implicate doctor-patient relationships and could deny pregnant women options that should be available to them. The impact of the withdrawal is still unclear and will vary state by state, however, the rule is currently being challenged in more than 20 states.


• Under Fire

Spain’s Canary Islands are literally blanketed by 50 metre-high flames, which have forced at least 9,000 people to flee from their homes. Firefighters have been battling the flames with 16 water-dropping jets, but the out-of-control blaze is being described by the local fire department as “a monster.” The fire, which started on Saturday afternoon, has completely scorched 6,000 hectares of land. Global News


• Canada: Moving Along

The federal government is investing $1.2 billion in Quebec City’s public transit system, which will including the funding of a 23-kilometre tramway line. In addition to the federal contribution, the Quebec government is also pitching in $1.8 billion, while the municipal government will also invest $300 million into the project. The expanded network is expected to be built by 2026, and will feature modern infrastructure that is environmentally friendly. CBC News


“I believe I speak for millions of Canadians by requesting that you use all the resources at your disposal to investigate this matter, not only so that justice is done but so that it is seen to be done. “

–  Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, in an open letter requesting that the RCMP launch a renewed probe into the SNC-Lavalin affairCTV News


• Disney Dreams

We have some exciting news, fellow TV-bingers. Disney confirmed the global launch dates and rates for the upcoming Disney+ subscription service, and Canadians don’t have to wait long. The service will launch in Canada the same day it launches in the U.S. (Nov. 12, 2019) and is priced at a competitive $8.99 per month. Disney also announced that users can access Disney+ on Apple TV, Android mobile phones, Chrome, iPads/iPhones, PlayStation 4, among a slew of other commonly used platforms (though Amazon’s Fire TV didn’t make the cut — we wonder why…). The Verge


• What a Tweetstorm

Twitter’s taking a stand against state-run media companies. After the social media giant (along with fellow juggernaut, Facebook) discovered “a covert state-backed social media campaign run from China,” with more than 900 accounts attempting to “undermine ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong,” it said it would no longer accept advertisements from “news media entities that are either financially or editorially controlled by the state.” These organizations will still be able to use the platform, but they won’t be able to buy or target ads. CNN


• Baseball: Little League, Big Loss

Canada’s dreams of bringing home a championship trophy were dashed once again yesterday when Curacao (representing the Caribbean) eliminated our Little League team from the World Series. The little guys struggled, managing only eight hits and one run, finishing with a final score of 8–1. The team had shown quite a bit of promise in the early stages of the tournament, beating Italy 10–0 on Saturday. Curacao will now take on the Latin America team this afternoon. TSN


• Making Magic

Another famous ’90s flick is making a comeback in 2020 — kind of. According to new reports, HBO Max has ordered a few pilots for original dramas, including a series called Rules of Magic, based on the novels Rules of Magic and Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. (In case you’re unfamiliar, Practical Magic was made into an iconic film in 1998, starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.) The series will be set in 1960s New York City, and will follow three siblings with “abnormalities.” Jessica Jones’ creator Melissa Rosenebrg will write and executive produce, along with Dana Baratta, Denise Di Novi, Nina Tassler and author Alice Hoffman. Variety



• Heat of the Moment

A New Jersey woman is taking the phrase “burning down the house” to a whole new level. Taija Russell was invited to an unnamed man’s house for a late-night hookup. However, when she arrived at her suitor’s house, she realized he had dozed off after failing to answer the door. She sent him a slew of angry texts, then decided the next reasonable course of action would be to torch the entire building. The victim woke up in a panic at 4:30am to find himself in a smoke-filled home, with flames blazing all around him. (TBH, he’s probably somewhat relieved he didn’t answer the door.) USA Today


• Radio Ga Ga

Today is National Radio Day, a day set up to honour the sonic sensation and one of the first mediums that helped relay the news. Radio has evolved considerably since its inception, giving rise to new and exciting forms of audio entertainment.


• The RCMP has revealed that the two men believed to be behind three murders in B.C. recorded a final message on their phones before shooting themselves. The recording has not yet been released. 

• The NYPD officer responsible for Eric Garner’s death in 2014 has been firedand will not receive his pension. 

• The U.S. Attorney General is making some major changes to the federal Bureau of Prisons, removing the organization’s acting chief following the death of Jeffrey Epstein. 

• According to a new study, women who were exposed to high fluoride levelsduring pregnancy may have children with lower IQ scores. 

• Apple TV+ really knows how to whet our palette. Just a week after the company released a teaser trailer for The Morning Show, it’s released another sneak peek at the star-studded drama.

• Another Hollywood couple has called it quits. Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx have apparently split after six years. 


• (Not So) Fast Car

You have to give them points for creativity

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