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✨ Good morning! Today is Thursday, January 24, 2019 and not to be smug, but this news comes as no surprise to us. 🍁
BULLETIN: POWER STRUGGLE
• The Background
Venezuela has a new president — kind of. Yesterday, Opposition Leader Juan Guaido took an oath, essentially swearing himself in as the country’s new president despite not winning any sort of general election. Guaido’s decision comes as hundreds of thousands took part in nationwide protests against current (former?) President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government. Like a true supporter of democracy, Guaido said he would only act as president on an interim basis until he was able to call a proper election. CBC News
• What Else You Need to Know
The move was immediately recognized across the globe, with the U.S. being the first to recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s new president, quickly followed by Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Peru. Maduro was quick to react to the news, announcing that he was immediately cutting ties with the United States and gave U.S. diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave Venezuela. (Guaido urged the U.S. not to listen.) On the flip side, Mexico announced that it will keep its policy on Venezuela “for the time being,” while Bolivia, Cuba, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Ecuador all expressed their support of Maduro.
• What’s Next?
Despite international support, Guaido will need the backing of Venezuela’s military to actually replace Maduro and call for free elections. As for the United States, Trump said “all options are on the table” when asked about sending U.S. troops into Venezuela to support Guaido and oust Maduro.
• Criminal Care
Phoenix police have found the nurse who likely impregnated a 29-year-old woman who’s in a vegetative state. Yesterday, Nathan Sutherland, a licensed practical nurse, was arrested after his DNA matched that of the newborn baby. The 36-year-old was part of the care team looking after the woman at Hacienda Healthcare in Phoenix, AZ. He’s been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse, and is being held at Maricopa County Jail on $500,000 bail. Sutherland’s arrest comes two days after Hacienda announced that one doctor involved with the woman’s care had resigned and another had been suspended. CNN
• Canada: Repair and Rebuild
Three years after a deadly school shooting shook the small community of La Loche, SK, Ottawa’s stepping up to try and help it heal. Yesterday, PM Justin Trudeau made the trek to the remote northern Saskatchewan town to announce $2.2 million in funding, which will go right to Dene High School. It will be spread out over the next five years and will be spent on cultural and language-based programs, on-the-land activities and mental-health services for students. In addition to the federal funding for school programs, the provincial government is also coughing up some cold hard cash: $3 million, which will be spent on new housing for teachers and health-care staff. CTV News
• U.S.: Witness Intimidation
Sounds like POTUS really doesn’t want his former lawyer to testify in front of Congress. (But…we do!) Yesterday, attorney Lanny Davis (who has been advising Michael Cohen) announced that he was delaying Cohen’s planned Feb. 7 testimony in front of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee “due to threats against [Cohen’s] family from Trump” and Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Despite the announced postponement, committee chairman Elijah Cummings said that the House is still expecting Cohen to appear before Congress. And in other Trump news, it looks like POTUS is going to have to find an alternate location for his upcoming State of the Union address, after Speaker Nancy Pelosi banned himfrom using the House chamber. (Bad day, huh?) Global News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
It is undisputed that such cardiac activity is detectable well in advance of the fetus becoming viable.
–U.S. District Court Judge Michael Huppert, striking down Iowa’s “fetal heartbeat” abortion law, which would have made the procedure illegal after just six weeks. Global News
• Start-up Stories
E-commerce success Shopify announced an unexpected pivot yesterday with the upcoming opening of a TV and film production studio. The Canadian tech firm intends to begin developing, producing and financing film and TV projects for both streaming platforms and traditional networks. Headquartered in Toronto, Shopify Studios will also operate in New York and L.A. The first wave of content slated for release is said to include a series of 20- to 30-minute films on entrepreneurs “examining the relationship between where individuals live and what they choose to create.” It’s also signed deals to develop entrepreneur-focused documentaries with Anonymous Content (the firm behind 13 Reasons Whyand Mr. Robot), and two other major production companies. Along with video content, it also has podcasts in the works, including a series “exploring secret economies.” Financial Post
• In Streaming Colour
With more and more of us cutting the cord on cable, and streaming TV and movies through our computers, it only makes sense that device makers put the same advanced technology into our computer screens as they put into televisions sets. So, Samsung is finally doing it. It’s just revealed the first-ever 4K OLED laptop display. The high-resolution 15.6-inch screen offers “HDR, excellent colour reproduction and high outdoor visibility.” Each pixel on screen has its own “light,” making blacks look truer and colours look brighter. Samsung says the OLED panel is also thinner, lighter and uses less power than LCD so it won’t sap as much precious battery power (so you can #NetflixandChill even longer). The panels are expected to find their way into laptops from Samsung partners like HP and Dell by July. Engadget
• Hockey: Oil Spill
Edmonton Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson thinks his team should be having a much better season than it is, and he’s taking it out on (now former) General Manager Peter Chiarelli. Chiarelli was fired yesterday after months of ineffective leadership; in November, Chiarelli fired head coach Todd McLellan — but his replacement, Ken Hitchcock, hasn’t been able to hold on to a winning streak either. “We saw [after the coaching change] that we have it within the players in the dressing room to play a top level in the league,” said Nicholson. “I felt Peter had done everything he could to make this team better, so we needed a new direction.” For now, that direction will come from assistant GM Keith Gretzky. Wayne’s brother has been promoted to fill the GM duties on an interim basis. (Here’s hoping he can do Connor McDavid a solid and turn things around for the team.) CBC Sports
📖 👀 🎧 THE WEEKEND PLAYLIST
One of the year’s most anticipated memoirs is finally hitting stores this weekend. Maid recounts Stephanie Land’s life, including being a single mother living in a homeless shelter, working a minimum-wage job as a house cleaner for the wealthy, and her experience with government aid.
Whether or not you care for the actual awards, don’t miss the 25th Annual Screen Actors’ Guild Awards red carpet, streaming live on Sunday at 5:30pm ET. (And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, a revamped version of RENT is hitting the small screen on Sunday in honour of the Broadway show’s 20th anniversary.)
Relive the ’90s this weekend when one of the greatest boy bands in history releases a new album: the Backstreet Boys are back with DNA.
• Money Move
Cardi B’s career has been on the fast track, and we finally know its next stop: Sin City. The artist formerly known as Belcalis Almánzar is set to debut a Las Vegas residency this spring at Palms Casino Resort. The Bronx-bred rapper will headline a string of dates as part of the opening of KAOS, the hotel’s new night and “day club” (only in Vegas). The new amphitheatre-style venue will also play host to fellow rapper G-EAZY and electronic acts Above and Beyond, Kaskade, and Skrillex. (Fingers crossed Cardi continues to bring her outspoken politics to the stage, okurrr?) Complex
• Boogers for Brains
There’s no doubt that dating after 30 is hard. The pool of potential partners is smaller, you have less patience and energy than you used to, and family and career often get in the way. Luckily, two Chinese companies (Hangzhou Songcheng Performance and Hangzhou Songcheng Tourism Management) see the struggle and are doing all they can to make it easier for their single female employees to find a mate, which includes giving them an extra eight days of “dating leave.” Yep, you heard it here first: any female employee who’s single and over 30 gets eight extra days off each year to “go home and date.” While this policy may sound crazy AF to Canadians, it’s actually the second of its kind in China. A high school (also in Hangzhou) recently announced it was giving single teachers an extra two days off each month for “love leave.” (Suddenly being a single woman is looking really appealing…) NZ Herald
⚡️STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• The Democratic Republic of Congo continues to struggle with its Ebola outbreak, confirming 14 new cases yesterday, which is the largest one-day increase since last August.
• At least five people were killed in Sebring, Florida yesterday, when a gunman stormed a SunTrust Bank branch.
• Uniformed Toronto police officers have been banned indefinitely from marching in the city’s Pride parade, after members voted 163–161 in favour of giving them the boot.
• Microsoft is making another move in the internet’s battle against fake news — the company’s Edge browser will now warn users if they’re opening a fake news site.
• According to Suge Knight’s son, not only is Tupac Shakur very much alive, but he’s “back in the studio” and making new music as we speak. (Sure, pal.)
• Ready to Rock
This iconic Canadian brand is celebrating “Beer Can Appreciation Day” with a little makeover.
• An Old Hippie
Bedtime’s about to get a lot more rock ’n‘ roll.