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✨ Good morning! Today is Tuesday, April 2, 2019 and we’re really hoping that nothing we report to you today was actually an April Fools’ joke. 🤞
BULLETIN: HOT AS HELL
• The Background
We may think we’re a caring, environmentally-conscious bunch here in Canada, but a new report is saying otherwise. Yesterday, someone got their paws on Canada’s Changing Climate Report (CCCR) — a study commissioned by Environment and Climate Change Canada. In it, government scientists warn that our country is heating up at twice the rate of the rest of the world, with Northern Canada actually tripling the global average 🙀. If that wasn’t bad enough, the report also warns that Canada is experiencing incrased precipitation (especially in winter) but water supply shortages in summer, “extreme fire weather” (great) and a heightened risk of coastal flooding. (Fabulous.) CBC News
• What Else You Need to Know
According to the report, Canada’s annual average temperature over land has warmed 1.7°C since 1948, though rates have been higher in the North (the annual average temperature has increased by 2.3°C up there), the Prairies and northern British Columbia. In comparison, global average temperatures have increased by just 0.8°C since 1948. The authors also take aim at climate change deniers, specifically noting that when it comes to what’s causing the climate to warm, “the human factor is dominant,” especially emissions of greenhouse gases. (Natural variations in the climate is part of it, but it’s not nearly as influential.)
• What’s Next?
It really depends how humanity reacts to climate change. The effects will be much worse if we don’t reduce our emissions (extreme weather every five years versus every other year), but so far, governments are finding it challenging to make any real progress. In a low-emissions scenario, the national annual average temperature increase is predicted to be just 1.8°C, yet in a high-emissions scenario, that increase jumps to 6.3°C. Even if we get to a medium-emissions scenario, we’re looking at a loss of between 74% and 96% of the glaciers in Canada’s west. (If you can’t stand the heat, stop using so much damn plastic.)
• Game of Thrones
It’s the end of an era — literally — in Japan, as the country readies itself for Emperor Akihito’s historic abdication. On May 1, Akihito will step down, triggering the end of the current imperial era, Heisei, and the beginning of the next. Yesterday, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced the new era will be called “Reiwa.” The name was chosen to signify concepts of order and harmony, and was taken from an ancient anthology of Japanese poems that dates back to the 8th century. “Our nation is facing up to a big turning point, but there are lots of Japanese values that shouldn’t fade away,” said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Emperor Akihito’s son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will take his father’s place on the throne next month. BBC News
• U.S.: Free For All
There’s another leak in the White House, and this time, it’s spilling the tea on security clearances. According to a new report, the Trump administration overruled 25 security clearance denials, in order to grant access to officials close to the president. Tricia Newbold works as a White House Personnel Security Office employee (and has for almost two decades). She’s alleging that Carl Kline, the former White House personnel security chief approved clearances for individuals who “had a wide range of serious disqualifying issues involving foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct.” (Oh, is that all?) Newbold testified in front of the House Oversight and Reform Committee in order to bring “integrity” back to her office, saying Congress was her “last hope.” However, Republicans aren’t taking Newbold’s accusations as seriously as Democrats: they’ve accused Democrats of releasing “cherry-picked” information, and have “mischaracterized [Newbold’s] knowledge.” Politico
• U.S.: Empty Threat?
Speaking of the president, and his tendency to do and say whatever he wants, yesterday he once again threatened to cut off U.S. aid to several Central American nations (or Mexico, as Fox News would have you believe) and close its southern border. (Heck, even their northern border’s at risk.) Trump took to Twitter to make the threat (are you even surprised anymore?) tweeting, “Our detention areas are maxed out & we will take no more illegals. Next step is to close the Border! This will also help us with stopping the Drug flow from Mexico!” (His use of caps, not ours.) He also said it was up to Mexico to use its “very strong immigration laws to stop the many thousands of people trying to get into the U.S.A.” If Trump follows through on his threat, more than 50 crossings could be closed as early as next week. USA Today
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“This is an important detail. There might be mistakes and irregularities, our party detected them.”
– Istanbul mayoral candidate for the AKP party — and loyalist to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — Binali Yildirim claims that over 300,000 votes in Sunday’s municipal election were “invalid” and refuses to concede defeat to opposing CHP party candidate Ekrem Imamoglu despite his opponent’s 25,000-vote lead. CNN
• The Way the Cookie Crumbles
Some of America’s most beloved cookie brands have a new owner. Ferrero (maker of Nutella, Tic Tacs and Ferrero Rocher chocolates) has agreed to buy Kellogg’s portfolio of cookie brands for US $1.3 billion. Included in the sale are Keebler cookies, Famous Amos, Mother’s, Murray’s, Girl Scout cookies and fruit snacks. Kellogg has been looking to offload the brands since November in an effort to refocus itself on its cereal and snack offerings. Said Kellogg’s CEO, Steve Cahillane, of the decision to sell, “This divestiture is yet another action we have taken to reshape and focus our portfolio, which will lead to reduced complexity, more targeted investment, and better growth.” On the flip side, Italy-based Ferrero sees the buy as a chance to widen its reach in North America, “capitaliz[ing] on exciting new growth opportunities in the world’s largest cookies market,” says CEO Lapo Civiletti. CNN
• Mail Magic
Google is continuing its efforts to make email writing as brainless a task as possible. Yesterday, the company marked Gmail’s 15th anniversary by introducing updates to its Smart Compose function. The autocomplete tool will “now adapt to the way you write,” learning over time to match your personal writing style. (Witty, crass and sarcastic? We love it already.) Start every group email to your work colleagues with “Hey Team”? Gmail will learn that and give you a head start each time rather than suggesting a more formal greeting. Always struggle with crafting a good subject line? Gmail can now help with that too by suggesting subject lines based on the content of your email. But perhaps the most exciting new feature is email scheduling. Hitting “Send” will get you a drop-down menu giving the option to schedule your email to be delivered at a later time (allowing night owls to hide the fact that they’re online catching up on email at 3am when they should be in bed…not that we’re speaking from experience or anything). TechCrunch
• Tennis: High Jump
Canadian tennis fans have another rising star on their hands. For the first time, Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ontario, cracked the the top 20 in the ATP Tour rankings yesterday. The 19-year-old’s jump came after his stellar showing in the Miami Open, where he made it all the way to the semi-finals. But Shapovalov’s big move wasn’t the only one Canadians can get excited about. Another Canadian teen, 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime from Montreal, went from No. 57 to No. 33, gaining 24 spots after also making it to the semifinals in Miami. The two are slowly gaining on fellow Canadian Milos Raonic who’s ranked No. 15 in the world. Sportsnet
• Party of One
After a four-year wait, Carly Rae Jepsen will finally bless fans with her fourth album, due out May 17. Jepsen teased the upcoming release, titled Dedicated, in a Twitter post yesterday, accompanied by the announcement of an international tour scheduled this summer. The tour will kick off on the album’s release date in Östermalm, Sweden and make three more European stops before moving stateside at the end of June. Sadly, the Canadian pop star seems to have forgotten her roots — all 30 of the North American dates set so far are booked in the U.S. (Womp, womp. 👎) Pitchfork
• Misdirected Anger
If anything screams “Satan worshipper,” you know it’s a little boy with magical powers — at least that’s what’s up according to a group of Catholic priests in Northern Poland. The priests have been busy burning books that they consider sacrilegious and obviously J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels are at the top of their list. Alongside the photographic evidence on Facebook are quotes from the Bible that seem to condemn magic and justify burning such brilliant work (apparently the Church hates Lord Voldemort as much as everyone else). However, followers weren’t having it, pointing out that the priests should be worried about a lot more than magic, considering the Church’s history with sexual abuse. (Heck yeah, you tell ’em.) BBC News
• It’s Storytime
Today is International Children’s Book Day. The date was selected to honour the birth date of fairytale pioneer Hans Christian Andersen. This year’s celebrations call on parents and kids to slow down by getting lost in a good book. (Here are some of 2019’s best so far.)
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Airbnb continues to make moves int he hotel industry. Yesterday, the home-sharing company invested as much as $200 million in India’s biggest hotel chain, OYO.
• On the topic of successful companies, Saudi Aramco was named the world’s most profitable for 2018.
• This ought to make some TV fans gleeful: Lea Michele is set to play Ariel in a live-action remake of The Little Mermaid to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
• Kanye’s Sunday Services aren’t just for social media. The rapper is bringing the outdoor music events to Coachella.
• Cruel Trick
McDonald’s just took the plant-based burger trend a step too far.