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✨ Good morning! Today is Friday, January 11, 2019 and we can think of some unintended uses of this new technology.
BULLETIN: Around the Block
• The Background
The gates are open. Leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation have come to an agreement with the RCMP to open the barricade that’s been blocking pipeline construction workers from accessing the First Nations’ Unist’ot’en territory in Northern B.C. The agreement followed a tentative deal reached late Wednesday that included a court-ordered injunction to open the checkpoint, and an additional series of four-and-a-half-hour meetings about protocols yesterday between hereditary chiefs and RCMP officers. Globe and Mail
• What Else You Need to Know
The agreed-upon plan will see the Wet’suwe’ten people remove the vehicles they have blocking the Morice River Bridge, but a metal gate at the site will stay in place. Workers from TransCanada Corp.’s Coastal GasLink will be allowed “soft access” through the area in order to get to the natural gas pipeline route 1.1 kilometres away from the bridge.
• What’s Next?
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they remain “adamantly opposed” to the project, despite the agreement. The injunction to allow access will last until May 31, 2019 and unless Coastal GasLink is able to secure further legal orders, it seems unlikely the First Nations community will keep the gate open any longer than they have to.
• Canada: Payback’s a Bitch
Mike Duffy isn’t giving up yet. The disgraced senator is appealing a judge’s ruling barring him from suing the Senate over his highly publicized suspension without pay in 2013. Back in December, Ontario Court Justice Sally Gomery sided with the Senate in support of Duffy’s suspension, declaring that the decision is protected by parliamentary privilege. Duffy’s lawyers, who filed the appeal with Ontario’s Court of Appeal yesterday, argue that the privilege shouldn’t give the Senate total immunity from the law. Duffy is seeking $7.8 million in damages from the Senate, RCMP and federal government in light of his acquittal on 31 charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery related to allegedly falsifying expense claims. CTV News
• U.S.: Real Fake News
President Trump may cower in the face of fake news, but in the case of fake nudes, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t about to go down without a fight. The Democratic representative took to Twitter to discredit a photo released by the rightwing website Daily Caller, claiming to show the politician nude in a bathtub (which was very quickly proven to be misattributed). She used the opportunity to comment on the constant scrutiny women in politics face, and claimed it was “just a matter of time” before something like this came out, and that Republicans had been “frothing at the mouth all week.” (An image we’d really rather forget.) And all this after losing out on the seat in the House Ways and Means Committee that her progressive Medicare for All and free college tuition agenda had rested on. Its two tough blows in one week, but Ocasio-Cortez handled both like a professional. (Take note, Mr. President.) The Guardian
• World: President, Dictator, Tomato, Tomahto
Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term as Venezuela’s President yesterday — but not many others are recognizing his seat. World leaders ’round the globe — including right here at home — have been vocally opposed to Maduro’s claim to power. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland put it bluntly in a statement released yesterday, saying his election win was “fraudulent and anti-democratic,” adding “the Maduro regime is now fully entrenched as a dictatorship.” US National Security Adviser John Bolton tweeted his country will not recognize “the Maduro dictatorship’s illegitimate inauguration.” With his new mandate in place, Maduro is set to lead the economically struggling country until at least 2025. Al Jazeera
QUOTE OF THE DAY
What they experienced was absolutely unacceptable and certainly not what a progressive campaign, or any campaign, should be about.
– Sen. Bernie Sanders apologizes to the more than two dozen women who have come forward with allegations of sexual harrasment by fellow campaign staffers while working for Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. HuffPost
• Beg, Borrow, or Steel
The federal and Ontario governments are investing $150 million into Algoma Steel, the second-largest steel producer in Canada. Low steel prices in 2015 led the company to apply for bankruptcy protection, which came to an end in November last year. This funding from the government is expected to help the company update its facility and shield the industry from U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs. “Our investment will help Algoma innovate, strengthen the competitiveness of Sault Ste Marie’s steel plant and support good, middle-class jobs for Canadians,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. CBC News
• Tech Triumph
It’s the last day of CES and while some of what we saw was down-right weird (proving that necessity isn’t always the mother of invention), most were genius innovations we can’t wait to get our hands on. This smart kettle bell from JaxJox had pulses racing thanks to its digital display, adjustable weights and app for keeping track of reps. (No more fudging the numbers, folks.) Proctor & Gamble’s Opté Precision Wand applies just the right amount of makeup after scanning for sunspots, freckles and moles, making skin look flawless. Hoping to save lives, French company Helite unveiled its B’Safe smart vest with built-in airbags to protect cyclists. Unfortunately, only a handful of people were invited to take a sneak peek at Samsung’s new foldable phone. The company is expected to unveil the as-yet-unnamed phone alongside its Galaxy 10 series on February 20, but appears to be keeping mum until then.
• Tennis: Racket Attack
Canada’s fledgling tennis pros have faced some tough competition at the Australian Open qualifiers this week — and our new women’s superstar is still going strong. Bianca Andreescu beat out Tereza Smitková of the Czech Republic in last night’s third round of qualifiers, earning her place in the main draw next week. Andreescu dominated the match throughout, scoring 6-0, 4-1 before Smitková retired with an injury. On the men’s side, Peter Polansky fell to Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis in his third match, with a score of 6-4, 6-4 marking him as down — but if he’s (still) lucky, maybe not out. Polansky made history last year for
having a horseshoe up his butt becoming the first player to gain entry to every Grand Slam through the “Lucky Loser” lottery. The main draw kicks off Monday with games set for Canadian fan-favourites Eugenie Bouchard, Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov. TSN
• Hostless with the Mostess
The Academy has finally decided who will fill in as the host of the 91st Oscars ceremony following Kevin Hart’s exit: no one. That’s right — the show will go on without a host to lead the charge. It’s the first time since 1989 (that’s 30 years, if you’re counting) that the show will be hostless and according to critics, that ain’t good. But rumour has it the show’s producers have hatched a new plan to rescue ratings for the telecast, reportedly having wrangled the entire superhero cast of the Avengers into agreeing to an on-stage reunion. Is it true? Tune in on February 24 to find out. The Guardian
• Big Shoes to Fill
Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle is trading in her training heels for her first official role in the Royal Family as patron of four charities passed on by the Queen. The Duchess will oversee the National Theatre, The Association of Commonwealth Universities, Smart Works and Mayhew. The decision was apparently discussed by the two over tea at the end of 2018, with the Queen looking to take things easier now that she’s 92 years old. (We don’t blame her!) Meghan has already visited her patronages to hold private meetings and made her first public appearance this week, where she made headlines at an event for Smart Works wearing her first actual maternity dress (and heels, naturally). Mirror
Feel Good Friday
• Breathe Easy
We can all breathe a little easier now that our homes are less likely to kill us. Researchers at the University of Washington have genetically modified a common houseplant known as pothos ivy so that it will naturally remove two common hazardous compounds found in our homes – chloroform and benzene – by emitting a protein called 2E1 to transform the chemicals into harmless compounds that will help the ivy grow. (Genius!) The next step for the research team is to further develop the ivy’s capabilities so that it will remove another common household pollutant, formaldehyde, which is found in some wood products such as cabinets or laminate flooring. (How about removing dust and grime next?) Good News Network
• Delivery Gone Wrong
In a violent assault on a perfectly good pizza, Pasco County deputies were called to a man’s residence where the gruesome remains (of the ‘za) were found smeared all over the area. Robert Houston was arrested for domestic battery against his father after finding out his dad helped deliver him at birth. (He should have left him in there, apparently.) Houston’s father returned home after walking his dogs only to be greeted with a pizza in the face. Robert held his father down and yelled at him while other family members called the police. (No word on whether the pizza was still edible.) WFLA News
STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• A 3.7-magnitude earthquake hit southern New Brunswick on Thursday morning.
• Jaguar Land Rover announced it’ll be cutting 4500 jobs in an effort to simplify its management structure.
• Swiss Guards, priests and nuns, among others, will make up the newly launched Vatican City track team.
• Las Vegas police have requested a DNA sample from Cristiano Ronaldofollowing rape allegations.
• Blonde bombshell Margot Robbie is set to play Barbie in a live-action movie set for release in 2020.
• Winning Numbers
Have you got your ticket for tonight’s draw? On Jan. 11, 1569, the first recorded lottery was held in England (and we bet these nine Canadian co-workers are sure glad the trend stuck).
• Petri Dish
You should probably consider uninviting these types of friends from your next get-together.