School's Out

An international school walkout for climate change, Shawn Mendes sweeps the Junos and Snapchat has big plans to pivot.

School's Out

An international school walkout for climate change, Shawn Mendes sweeps the Junos and Snapchat has big plans to pivot.

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✨  Good morning! Today is Monday, March 18, 2019 and here’s more proof you should never underestimate a woman mother scorned. 


• The Background

Climate change deniers have a new foe to face: students. On Friday, hundreds of thousands of students in more than 100 countries walked out of class to protest their local politicians’ approach (or lack thereof) to global warming. The international demonstration was sparked by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg (who was just nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work) who started solitary demonstrations outside Swedish parliament last year. The students are asking governments to do more, citing scientists’ research about the effects climate change will have on the Earth in their lifetime. Global News

• What Else You Need to Know

While the Canadian government has been supportive of climate change initiatives, it isn’t nearly enough for the country’s youth. Protests happened in more than 55 cities across the country, with students urging politicians to act now because “there is no planet B” and “there are no jobs on a dead planet.” Hundreds took their message right to the capital, where they gathered in front of Parliament Hill. 

• What’s Next?

Students have warned politicians that this is just the beginning of their worldwide movement. Though most can’t vote yet, they will be able to soon, and it’s clear that climate change (and what we’re going to do to fight it) is at the top of their priority list. 


• Deadly Slide

At least 50 people were killed and another 59 were injured over the weekend when flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential downpours ravaged Papua, the easternmost province of Indonesia. The provincial government declared a two-week emergency as it tries to reach remote areas that haven’t yet received assistance and restore power to medical facilities that have been hit with outages. On top of the disaster in Papua, Tiu Kelep waterfall (a hot tourist destination) was also hit with a landslide on Sunday, which has trapped at least 35 foreign and domestic visitors. CBC News

• Up in Smoke

Despite French President Emmanuel Macron’s concessions and promises, the yellow vest protests have continued across the country. Over the weekend, protestors rioted in the city centre, setting fires in the upscale Champs-Elysées Ave. and smashing luxury store windows. The resurgence of violence (though demonstrations have been going on for 18 straight weekends) was spurred by the end of a two-month government debate that — according to protestors —  “was useless and didn’t achieve anything.” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner estimated that there were 10,000 protestors in Paris, with another 4,500 rioting in other French cities. Of those, he said 1,500 were “ultraviolent ones who [were] there to smash things up.” Police said 192 were arrested and 60 were injured, including 18 firefighters and police officers. CBC News


• U.S.: The Race Is On

There are a whole lot of Democrats itching to take a (metaphorical) swing at Donald Trump. New York’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced her candidacy — and her intention to hit him where it hurts (his ego) by holding her first campaign speech on March 24 in front of the Trump International Hotel in NYC. Gillibrand also released her first campaign video, titled Brave Wins. Former VP Joe Bidennearly let slip his intentions to run, boasting in a speech Saturday evening that he has “the most progressive record of anybody running,” before quickly correcting himself to say “anybody who would run.” His added “I didn’t mean it” was drowned out by cheers from the crowd. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders‘ campaign staffers have proven their left-wing chops by joining the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 labour union — with their boss’s full support, of course — making them the first presidential campaign in history to unionize.

• World: Strength in Numbers

More than a million people have signed a petition demanding the removal of Fraser Anning, a far-right Australian senator. Following Friday’s terror attack that left 50 Muslim worshippers dead (and another 34 in hospital care), Anning made some questionable comments in a written statement and on Twitter (of course), linking Muslim immigration to Australia and New Zealand with an increase of violence within the two countries. For his trouble, Anning has been egged, confronted in public, and faces censure by the Australian government. In contrast, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern’s vow to impose stricter gun control laws has been met with strong support from her citizens. Plans include potentially restricting ownership of semi-automatic weapons and offering buybacks on certain guns to encourage people to give them up. Ardern’s cabinet will discuss the proposed measures today. CBC News


“She reminds me occasionally of that character from Monty Python where all the arms and legs are cut off but he then tells the opponent: ‘Let’s call it a draw.’”

– Dutch PM Mark Rutte compliments British PM Theresa May on her “incredible” resilience in the face of her many (many) Brexit setbacks in the most backhanded way possible. The Guardian


• If You’re Not First…

Rideshare underdog Lyft is kicking off a roadshow for its initial public offering (IPO) this week, making it the first U.S. company of its kind to sell shares on the stock market. In other words? It’s beat its much-larger rival Uber to the punch. By being first, the company (valued at around $20 billion) hopes to persuade investors that it’s the better bet when it comes to app-enabled ride-hailing. But for those not convinced, Uber’s IPO is rumoured to be planned for next month. Yahoo Finance


• Ready Player One

Soon you can brag about high scores as well as your Snapchat streaks: the company is reportedly working on a new platform which will allow third party developers to make games that can be played within the app. While Snapchat has yet to confirm its plans to move into the gaming space, its intentions seem pretty clear. After all, not only did it buy out an Australian-based tech game-maker in the beginning of 2019, it also sold 12% of Snapchat itself to Tencent — a Chinese-based internet services company with an arm in mobile games and social media (a match made in heaven if this is indeed where Snapchat is headed). Your move, Instagram. The Verge


• Tennis: Desert Star

Canada has a new tennis champion. Bianca Andreescu continued her banner season yesterday, finally claiming her first WTA title. The 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., won the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, beating German Angelique Kerber 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 last night. The upset win (Kerber’s ranked eighth, while Andreescu went in unseeded) wasn’t the only one of the tournament: Dominic Thiem defeated Roger Federer in the men’s final. CTV News


• The (New) King of Pop

The 48th annual Juno Awards were handed out over two nights in London, Ont., this weekend — but the event may well have been renamed the “let’s-give-all-the-awards-to-Shawn-Mendes show.” The 20-year-old crooner won every category he was nominated for except one, taking titles for artist of the year, album of the year, pop album of the year, songwriter of the year and single of the year (for “In My Blood”). Mendes lost to Avril Lavigne for the Juno Fan Choice Award. (Bummer.) Other winners included chill vibes master Bahamas, R&B wonder Jessie Reyez, Indigenous powerhouse Jeremy Dutcher, rock anthem experts Arkells (who graciously gave up their allotted speech time to invite Dutcher, who’d been cut off, to return to the stage to finish his). Newbies Bülow and The Washboard Union were named breakthrough artist and group of year respectively. Songwriter David Foster was named humanitarian of the year, and Corey Hart was inducted to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. (Did you hear he’s got a new album on way too?) The full list of winners can be found hereCBC News


• Food, Waste

Taking healthy eating to a whole ‘nother level, Japanese company Open Meals is planning a concept restaurant specializing in customized sushi, with nutrient levels tailored to each diner’s needs. Sounding good so far? The next part’s a bit less appetizing. After making a reservation, each customer will receive a kit where they can mail back biological samples (yes, this means pee, poop and spit) for the company to analyze for nutritional deficiencies. Rather than employing the services of a chef, the sushi is then synthesized into little cubes via a 3D printer, using an edible gel as “ink” (or “rice” and “fish” if you’d prefer). We’ll stick with our kale smoothies, thanks. designboom


• Express Yourself

On March 18, 1850, Henry Wells, William G. Fargo, and John Warren Butterfield founded an express mail business in Buffalo, New York, called American Express. The company wouldn’t get into the credit business until 1891.


• The data recorded by the black box in the downed Ethiopian Airlines has been found to show “clear similarities” to the Lion Air flight that crashed last year.

• NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has officially been sworn into parliament as the MP for Burnaby South, making history as the first person of colour to lead a federal party in the House of Commons.

• Another Canadian making history: Come September, YouTube star Lilly Singh is taking over Carson Daly’s late-night NBC slot with A Little Late with Lilly Singh, becoming the only woman and LGBTQ person to host a late-night show on a major network.

• Following investigations, two production companies are backtracking on their overzealous #MeToo cuts: Disney and Marvel have rehired James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy 3, and National Geography is bringing back Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos.


• Uninvited Guests

How could anyone turn these three away?

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