✨ Good morning! Today is Wednesday, June 26, 2019, and this can’t be real, can it?
BULLETIN: NO MEAT FOR YOU
• The Background
It looks like the U.S. isn’t the only one on China’s sh*t list: Canada’s in trouble with the world power, too. Yesterday, the Chinese government announced a complete ban on all meat imports from Canada — a move likely related to the December arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. The announcement is just the latest incident to cause tension between the two countries. ICYMI, earlier this year, China arrested Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor and sentenced another Canadian to death — which many believe is part of its attempt to get Canada to release Meng. It’s also banned imports of Canadian canola and suspended import permits for three Canadian pork producers. National Post
• What Else You Need to Know
Despite the assumed connection between the ban and the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Chinese officials swore it’s due to the detection of ractopamin, a banned feed additive, in a batch of Canadian pork products. According to the embassy’s official statement, an investigation into the products revealed “that the official veterinary health certificates attached to the batch of pork exported to China were counterfeit and the number of those forgery certificates was up to 188.” With such a high number of counterfeit certificates, China said there were “obvious safety loopholes” in Canada’s meat export supervision system, and that it needed to take “urgent preventive measures” to protect Chinese customers.
• What’s Next?
Coincidentally (or maybe not), Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to meet with POTUS this week at the G20 Summit in Japan. At last week’s Trudeau-Trump meetup, the president promised that he would do everything he could to convince Xi to release the detained Canadians and start making nice with North America. In the meantime, Canada’s Food Inspection Agency is working with Chinese officials to resolve the issue and lift the ban.
• Mission Accomplished
Saudi Arabia and Yemeni forces confirmed they have captured the head of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIL) in a raid on June 3. Abu Osama al-Muhajer was captured alongside three other members of the terrorist group, including its chief financial officer. The raid, which lasted all of 10 minutes, also allowed officials to seize weapons, ammunition and telecommunication devices. The official statement provided no details as to where the men are being detained, or why the Saudi military decided not to announce the success of the raid until now. Al Jazeera
• U.S.: Switch-Up
Frequent resignations and new hires are a common trend in Trump’s White House, so it’s no surprise that in the same day, Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders resigned, while Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was officially replaced. John Sanders made the decision to resign amid the dramatic upsurge in the number of undocumented migrants and the subsequent conflict over how to properly address the issue. Huckabee Sanders, who announced her resignation last week, will be replaced by one of the earliest members of team Trump: Melania Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, who will be taking on the role of both press secretary and communications director. CNN
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We want to experience this moment here again and again and again.”
– Raptors President Masai Ujiri says he plans to stay in Toronto with the Raptors, despite interest from other NBA teams. (We’re with him.) Toronto Star
• Plane Plans
Montreal-based transportation manufacturer, Bombardier Inc., is selling its regional-jet business to Japanese car manufacturer, Mitsubishi, which will pay US $550 million and incur around $200 million in debt and other liabilities related to the Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ). Mitsubishi will be responsible for the maintenance, support, refurbishment, and marketing and sales activities for the jets. Of CRJ’s current 1,600 employees worldwide, Mitsubishi plans to keep around 1,200. A critical component of CJR that Bombardier is maintaining control over is its main manufacturing facility, which employs 375 people. The deal is unsurprising, as Bombardier is in the crux of selling off assets worldwide in an attempt to raise money to focus more on its core business. CBC News
• Lap of Luxury
In its infancy, Airbnb was well-known for providing perfect options for couch-surfers and travellers simply searching for a place to crash. But let’s just say the hospitality service’s new expansion is far from cheap. Introducing: Airbnb Luxe, a service designed for ritzy customers interested in spending (much) more than $1,000 a night on massive, private estates with jaw-dropping views and state-of-the-art amenities. “This new tier launches with more than 2,000 handpicked homes around the world, each one passing strict evaluation across 300-plus criteria to meet standards in both design and function,” the company said in the announcement. Airbnb Luxe fits with the company’s mission to transform into a full-service hotel and travel platform. But don’t worry couch-surfers, Airbnb will still continue to provide you with rental options for a tiny bedroom with a tiny price tag. The Verge
• Basketball: A Win for Women
Hayley Wickenheiser, dubbed the greatest female hockey player of all time, has made it into the Hall of Fame. Four Olympic gold medals and seven World Championships later, the 40-year-old received the much-deserved induction in her first year of eligibility. Known as the face of Canada’s national women’s team, Wickenheiser was elected alongside Guy Cabonneau, Vaclav Nedomansky, Jim Rutherford, Jerry York and Sergei Zubov in the Hall’s Class of 2019. Apparently, Wickenheiser wasn’t just the best female player eligible; she was the best player eligible, period. You go, girl. TSN
• Serious Star Power
In perhaps the most exciting Netflix-related announcement of late, rumour has it American screenwriter Ryan Murphy will direct and produce a feature adaption of the Tony-nominated musical The Prom. The star-studded cast list is bringing Netflix to a whole new level. Meryl Streep will star, alongside James Corden, Nicole Kidman and Ariana Grande, Awkwafina, Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells. The film is expected to hit the silver screen before the fall 2020 awards season. We’re (not-so) patiently waiting. Deadline
• Nationalist Nonsense
To celebrate the Fourth of July, a car dealership in Alabama is luring customers with a new promotion that would send most Canadians running. Over the next month, every car the dealership sells will come with a Bible, a 12-gauge shotgun and an American flag. (Is this how you make America great again?) Announcing the promotion on Facebook, the dealership wrote, “GOD GUNS AND FREEDOM. This is a small gift to our valued customers and an opportunity for us to celebrate our independence.” (God help us all.) Fox Orlando
• Hugs Not Drugs
Today is the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, organized by the United Nations. This global observance aims to improve action, awareness and cooperation to achieve a world free of drug abuse. This year’s theme is “Health for Justice. Justice for Health.”
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• An Ottawa fertility doctor had his medical license revoked, after he inseminated several women with his own sperm. (We’re not kidding.)
• Justin Trudeau was caught using a plastic fork soon after announcing his government’s plan to ban single-use plastics by 2021.
• Donald Trump lashed out at Iran, warning of “obliteration” after the country called the president “mentally retarded.” (Their words, not ours.)
• Britain is now among one of the first countries to test out 5G and the reviews are mixed.
• Graphic police video reveals Jussie Smollett with a noose around his neck, after the alleged hate crime hoax.
• Take a Seat
This is creativity at its finest.