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✨ Good morning! Today is Thursday, January 31, 2019 and we’re suddenly craving Japanese-style barbecue.
BULLETIN: A WOMAN’S WORTH
• The Background
While women across Canada enjoy more safety than many others around the world, there’s still work to be done. That finding comes courtesy of the very first report on femicide, aptly titled “#CallItFemicide, requested by the United Nations and completed by the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability (CFOJA). According to the group’s research, a woman or girl was killed every 2.5 days in Canada in 2018, which amounts to 148 murders in 133 incidents over the course of the year. So far, 140 people have been accused in their murders, but there are still 12 incidents where no suspect has been accused or identified. Unsurprisingly, more than 90% of the accused are men. The main difference between murdered men and women is that women are often killed by intimate partners; in fact, of those women killed in 2018, more than 53% were killed by a partner and 13% by a male family member, whereas only 21% were killed by a stranger. (A number that is undoubtedly spiked by Alek Minassian’s van attack, which killed eight women.) CTV News
• What Else You Need to Know
The Centre was established by the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence (CSSLRV) at the University of Guelph in 2017, and has been tasked with documenting gender-related killings of women in order to “collect, analyze and review data on femicides with the aim of prevention.” The interdisciplinary panel of experts conducting the research hail from all across Canada, and are led by Myrna Dawson, the group’s director and a professor at the University of Guelph.
• What’s Next?
The goal of the report is to try and figure out the “circumstances and motivations surrounding women’s violent deaths” so that authorities and officials can better understand the incidents and try to improve prevention tactics.
• Now That’s Cold
A “life-threatening” cold snap made its way across North America yesterday, putting much of the Midwest United States through some of the lowest temperatures the area’s seen in recent history. According to the National Weather Service, frostbite in certain cities and states could happen in as little as five minutes when temperatures dropped to as low as -45°C. Cities in Wisconsin and Minnesota broke records yesterday when wind chills pushed temperatures as low as -54 and are expected to stay below -38 through this morning. In several cities, train and mail service were both cancelled due to the cold. Meanwhile, temperatures also dropped in most cities across Canada, except for the East Coast and B.C., which are both experiencing warmer-than-usual weather. Global News
• Canada: Protecting the Process
With the 2019 federal election speeding towards us, the Canadian government is going above and beyond to make sure we don’t end up like our southern neighbours. Yesterday, Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Goul, along with Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, announced that the feds were setting up an internal team to monitor the October election and “sound the alarm” if it notices any sort of interference. The team, also known as the “critical election incident public protocol” group (sounds serious), will be made up of five bureaucrats: the Clerk of the Privy Council, the federal national security and intelligence adviser, the deputy minister of justice, the deputy minister of public safety and the deputy minister of Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The government also announced it would be bringing together members of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the RCMP and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), along with GAC to create the Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections (SITE) Task Force which will work year-round to identify foreign threats to Canada’s electoral process. CBC News
• U.S.: Power Play
The U.S. government isn’t a fan of Donald Trump’s foreign policy — and they’ve introduced legislation to try to keep him in check. Yesterday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill that would limit the president’s power when it comes to implementing tariffs for “national security reasons.” The bill, which is called the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act, was introduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and if passed, would require the president to receive congressional approval before enacting any trade actions (think of those damn steel and aluminum tariffs). This is the second time a bill of this type has been introduced in Congress, but the first time around, there were far fewer Democrats and the bill never made it to a vote. Reuters
• World: Moving Maduro
With half of the world’s leaders against him and mounting pressure from his own people (there was another massive walkout yesterday), Venezuelan President(?) Nicolas Maduro said he’s willing to meet with opposition leaders, as long as international mediators are present. Maduro said he changed his mind about the meeting “for the sake of Venezuela’s peace and its future.” However, just when it seemed like the country was possibly turning a corner, Maduro once again rejected the idea of holding another general election (his critics say the last one was rigged) and said those who want to vote for someone else will have to wait until 2025 to do so. BBC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
The case for raising rates has weakened somewhat.
– U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell expresses his belief that “the U.S. economy is in a good place” following yesterday’s announcement the central bank is holding its key interest rate. USA Today
• Grocery Wars
Canadian grocers are playing catch up to expand their businesses in the shifting food sales landscape. (We mean, pre-portioned meal kits really are convenient, no?) Empire Co., which owns Safeway, FreshCo, and Sobeys stores, is prepping to offer voluntary buyouts to Safeway staff in B.C. ahead of plans to expand FreshCo into Western Canada. Over the next year, Empire will convert 10 B.C. Safeway locations to the discount FreshCo banner. Metro Inc., has announced it’s working to expand its grocery delivery service, currently only in Quebec, to Ontario later this spring. And unlike competitor Loblaws, which has teamed up with Instacart to provide third-party delivery services, Metro its sticking to an in-house delivery model using its own fleet of trucks. Coincidence that all this was announced in the same week Uber Eats put up a handful of job postings for a new Toronto-based grocery team? We think not.
• The Upside of Upsizing
With online security top of mind these days, Samsung’s latest innovation could help ease the worry that comes with off-loading your personal data to the cloud — by making it unnecessary. The tech firm is introducing a 1TB storage chip for smartphones. It’s the first time a company has built an embedded Universal Flash Storage chip with such a massive capacity, making it possible to give its phones PC-like storage ability. Samsung says the chip is big enough to store 260 10-minute videos in 4K UHD. The new chip is also faster than existing alternatives — nearly twice as fast as its 512GB predecessor — but comes in same sized package, so its phones won’t have to be made bigger to fit it. (Your move, Apple.) Engadget
• We Bid You Adieu
C’est officiel — New Brunswick will no longer be hosting the 2021 Jeux de La Francophonie. Premier Blaine Higgs announced the province’s cancellation of its planned hosting gig yesterday, after the federal government had committed to footing half the bill for the event. Three thousand athletes and artists from more than 50 countries with French as a common language were expected to descend on New Brunswick for the Games next summer. But PM Trudeau’s promise of matching N.B.’s funding “dollar for dollar” wasn’t enough for the province’s Conservative government, which says the estimated cost of $130 million (up from an original bid of $17 million back when N.B. was awarded the Games in 2015) is too expensive without a bigger investment from Ottawa. Global News
📖👀🎧 THE WEEKEND PLAYLIST
Just like a car wreck that you can’t help but watch, another POTUS tell-all (Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House) is here to satisfy our need to know everything about the (disastrous) Trump administration.
Super Bowl LIII! The New England Patriots (🙄) take on the Los Angeles Rams to take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy — and if football bores you, watch for the commercials and the Maroon 5/Travis Scott/Big Boi halftime show(which is bound to be something to talk about).
Elizabeth Holmes (who was once described as the next Steve Jobs) and her healthcare company Theranos are one of the most mind-boggling business stories of our generation. Learn how this former self-made billionaire lost it all in ABC News’ new podcast, The Dropout.
• Finding Immortality
It’s the moment we’ve long dreamed of: Yesterday, French film studio Gaumont announced the production of a Celine Dion biopic, set for release next year. With a production budget of around €23 million that includes a buy-in from Ms. Dion herself, the French-language film, titled The Power Of Love, will “retrace Dion’s life from the 1960s to the present day and her relationship with her manager and late husband, René Angélil.” It will star and be directed by Valérie Lemercier, who also wrote the script. (Talk about a triple threat.) Lemercier is a two-time César award-winning actor (France’s version of the Oscars). French-Canadian actor Sylvain Marcel will play opposite her as Angélil. Filming begins this spring. Deadline
• What’s in a Name?
Do you know what your name tastes like? We’re guessing the answer is no — but there’s one woman in Scotland who can tell you. Julie McDowall has lexical-gustatory synaesthesia, a sensory condition that allows her to “experience words as tastes.” The writer and podcaster offered her skills up on Twitter, and as expected, the requests came in fast and furiously (15,000 to be exact). McDowall’s revelations were amazing, including that Aaron tastes like a stale chocolate bar, Amelia like muesli, Duncan like a smoky bacon chips burp (ick), Graham like cold stew, Lee like custard, Jesus like Maltesers, Brian like little shreds of coconut, Madison like ear wax with chocolate (not surprised), Sean like furniture polish, Tommy like a fizzy sweet, Nick like a biscuit dipped in vinegar and Wendy like watered down orange juice. (A rose by any other name would taste…disgusting?) Glasgow Live
• Flying Monkey
Ham, a chimpanzee from Cameroon, became the first non-human hominid to rocket into space on Jan. 31, 1961 — and thankfully, returned to Earth alive and well. The NASA astrochimp’s trip was made to ensure that a human being could survive space flight, think clearly and perform useful functions outside the Earth’s atmosphere.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Rescue teams in Brazil have now recovered the bodies of 99 people following last week’s dam collapse. More than 250 are still missing.
• The federal government has written off $163 million in student loans it doesn’t expect will ever be paid.
• The NDP have hung on to power in British Columbia with a by-election winin Nanaimo by Sheila Malcolmson, a former federal NDP MP.
• Remember when all those people at the Canadian embassy in Cuba fell mysteriously ill? Well, it’s happening again.
• Apple has banned Facebook from running hidden iOS data research apps it says were misused in a “clear breach” of its agreements.
• Xtina is taking on Sin City! Christina Aguilera is headed to Las Vegas for “The Xperience,” a 16-date residency at Planet Hollywood.
• Nice for What
Quick, book yourself on the next red-eye to LAX — Drake’s handing out cash again!