Subscribe to The Bullet to get a quick shot of daily news to your inbox.
✨ Good morning! Today is Wednesday, March 6, 2019 but we really, really wish it was April 14. 🐉
BULLETIN: PAYING FOR PAST MISTAKES
• The Background
As if the federal government didn’t have its hands full enough with the SNC-Lavalin scandal (reminder: Trudeau’s former senior advisor Gerald Butts is testifying today), our country’s leadership just got slapped with a $3-billion class action lawsuit. Filed with the Federal Court of Canada in Toronto and Montreal on behalf of “tens of thousands” of First Nations children, the lawsuit alleges the government “discriminated against First Nations children by ‘systematically’ underfunding on-reserve child welfare services.” The suit also claims that the government was well aware of the “severe inadequacies” in its on-reserve First Nations child welfare funding formulas, but did nothing to improve the situation. CBC News
• What Else You Need to Know
The lead plaintiff in the case is Xavier Moushoom, a 31-year-old Algonquin man who spent the years between nine and 18 in 14 foster homes. Originally from the Lac Simon Anishnabe Nation in Quebec, Moushoom’s poor experience with the system caused him to lose “his roots, his culture and his language.” He also developed anxiety attacks and substance abuse problems. Moushoom is just one of the many named in the suit, who were negatively impacted by on-reserve child welfare services between April 1, 1991, and March 1, 2019.
• What’s Next?
According to the law firms involved in the case, the government has until 5pm tomorrow to respond to the suit before any lawyers will speak to the media. The Liberals also tabled an Indigenous child welfare bill (a.k.a. C-92) last week that will guarantee Indigenous Peoples have jurisdiction over child welfare in their communities. No word yet on when (or if) a vote will happen.
• Dangerous Delivery
It looks like another terrorist cell is operating in the London area. Yesterday, counter-terror police were alerted to three suspicious packages at various airports around the city centre, which ended up being “small improvised explosive devices.” The three packages were found in A4 postal bags at Heathrow Airport, London City Airport and Waterloo station. According to Metropolitan Police, the counter-terrorism unit is treating the incidents as a “linked series” and is keeping an “open mind” about a possible motive. The good news is that whoever sent them is clearly an amateur — according to Scotland Yard, the devices appear capable of simply “igniting an initially small fire when opened.” BBC News
• Neighbourly Drama
Pakistan is intent on making those responsible pay for the Feb. 14 attack in Kashmir. Pakistani Interior Secretary Azam Suleman Khan announced that authorities had arrested 44 members of various armed groups in India yesterday, including members of Jaish-e-Muhammad, the group the country believes was behind last month’s attack. Among those detained is Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar’s brother, Abdul Rauf, and the chief’s son, Hammad Azhar. Though tensions somewhat settled between the two countries over the weekend (India returned a Pakistani pilot on Saturday after shooting down his jet last week), Pakistan’s navy said it successfully foiled an attempt by an Indian submarine to enter Pakistani waters, once again raising concerns. (Though India’s calling those reports fake news.) Al Jazeera
• U.S.: Stepping Down
Another member of the Trump administration is calling it a day. Yesterday, news broke that the commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be leaving the agency next month in order to spend more time with his family. Dr. Scott Gottlieb had been with the government bureau since May 2017, after being appointed by the president. In announcing his departure, Gottlieb thanked Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and POTUS for their support. Gottlieb will likely be remembered as the commissioner that “approved a record number of treatments and drugs and advanced policies to confront opioid addiction and prevent youth e-cigarettes use.” CNN
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
Mahmoud, Benjamin…I want you to touch the map of the Holy Land and identify only the parts that spark joy.
– Contributor to the Isreali newspeper Haaretz, Adrian Hennigan, imagines how Marie Kondo might mediate a peacemaking meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to solve their territorial conflicts. The Wrap
• The Rich Get Poorer
Forbes has release its 2019 “World’s Billionaires” list, starring all the usual wealthy suspects. (Hi, Jeff Bezos “and family,” Bill Gates and Warren Buffet! 👋) Despite the predictable nature of the top-three names, the ranking did include a few notable changes. A record 994 people on the list are worth less this year than they were last year. (Poor little rich people.) The collective riches of the ultra-wealthy totalled $8.7 trillion — $400 billion less than in 2018. If you had any doubt money and beauty go hand in hand, here’s proof: The world’s richest woman (and 15th richest person) is L’Oréal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, while 21-year-old cosmetic entrepreneur Kylie Jenner takes the throne as the world’s youngest billionaire. However, people aren’t happy with Forbes labelling Jenner “self made,” arguing (rightly) that her company’s success had more than a little help from her last name. Forty-five Canadians made the cut, with Thomson Reuters Chairman David Thomson coming in 27th place globally, but first here at home. Forbes
• Easy Access
Volvo’s electric car brand Polestar is all about enhancing user experience. Along with the unveiling of the Polestar 2 at the Geneva Motor Show, the company also launched its new Polestar Explore app for Android and iOS, which promises the ultimate car-driving experience. By going all virtual, it aims to appeal to next generation drivers who are permanently attached to their smartphones and detest the idea of haggling with a dealer. (We think the older generation hates that too…so we’ve heard.) From shopping for, purchasing or subscribing to a car, to using phone-as-key technology, the app is designed to provide customers with an end-to-end digital experience. Polestar 2 is also the first car to use Google’s Android operating system as the basis for its built-in touchscreen infotainment system, and the the interior features “vegan” textiles. Oh, and that smartphone-power keyless entry? It works for the ignition, too. Engadget
• Soccer: Down and Out
My, how the mighty have fallen. Yesterday, in a shocking turn of events, three-time defending champions Real Madrid lost in the last-16 stage of the UEFA Champions League, knocking them out of the tournament. Despite a 2–1 lead from the first leg, Real couldn’t close it out, losing to Amsterdam’s Ajax 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu. Ajax’s win cements the team’s spot in the Champions’ League quarter-finals for the first time since 2003. Bleacher Report
• Festival Season
Ottawa’s Bluesfest is celebrating its 25th year with an epic lineup that pretty much rivals Coachella. Announced yesterday, the majorly eclectic roster of performers is set to include The Killers, Wu-Tang Clan, Backstreet Boys, CHVRCHES, Snoop Dogg, Pussy Riot, The Offspring and Rodrigo y Gabriela. Canadian acts on the bill include Jessie Reyes, Alexisonfire, U.S. Girls, The Glorious Sons, Charlotte Cardin, The Sheepdogs and Colter Wall. Meanwhile, Buddy Guy, Elle King, The Devil Makes Three, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar and Matt Andersen will hold down the fort on the festival’s “blues” component. And that’s not even the half of it — you can see the full lineup so far here, and expect more to be added in the run-up to festival kick-off. The two-week event takes over the capital’s LeBreton Flats Park from July 4 to 14 and pre-sale tickets go on sale online tomorrow at 10am. CBC News
• Say Hello to My Little Friend
“Micro bags” have been a trendy fashion item for several seasons, but the name has always been a bit of a misnomer (“really small bags” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it)… until now. French label Jacquemus has blessed us with a truly (well, nearly) microscopic handbag, dubbed the Mini Le Chiquito. Measuring just two inches wide, the petite purse is too small to hold even a credit card — but could transport a couple of mints or handfingerful of coins quite nicely. The tiny tote is actually a little sister to the previously released Le Chiquito bag, which was a sellout despite its US $500 price tag. The Mini Le Chiquito doesn’t yet have a price, but with all the social media buzz its earned since making its runway debut last week (ELLE magazine called it the “New It Bag,” and Dazed labelled it only “kind of” ridiculous) it’s sure to become an outsized cult favourite no matter how big the sticker shock. The Guardian
• Modern Family
On March 6, 1997, Queen Elizabeth II launched the first official royal website of the British Royal Family. (So progressive!) Twenty-two years later, the Royal Family is making tech-savvy moves once again with the release of new official guidelines for interacting with its social media accounts. (Trolls, be gone!)
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• In this year’s least surprising report, India officially has the world’s worst air pollution, followed closely by Pakistan and Bangladesh.
• Ariana Grande finally has her very own grande. The singer’s partnered with Starbucks on two new “cloud macchiatos” in caramel and cinnamon.
• Hello Kitty is coming to a theatre near you. For the first time in history, parent company Sanrio has granted film rights to a major movie studio for the iconic feline and its other popular characters.
• Mental Swing State
Think you know yourself? The results of this political personality quiz might surprise you.