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✨ Good morning! Today is Wednesday, May 22, 2019 and it’s almost time for tea and crumpets with the Crawleys!
BULLETIN: BURNT OUT
• The Background
In what feels like deja vu, Alberta is once again facing a severe threat from out-of-control wildfires. Six blazes broke out over the weekend, and one is wreaking havoc on the northern part of the province. More than 4,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes after the Chuckegg Creek wildfire (located just south of High Level) reached almost 80,000 hectares in size. Luckily, no homes have been damaged and no injuries have been reported, though residents in the area temporarily lost both electricity and cellular service. (It was restored yesterday afternoon.) The fire is currently ranked as a Level 6, which is as bad as it gets on the wildfire scale. Global News
• What Else You Need to Know
Along with the Alberta Wildfire, British Columbia has sent more than 200 firefighters to help battle the blaze, while crews from Ontario and Nova Scotia are expected to arrive within the next 48 hours. So far, Alberta officials have set up fire barriers along highways and are using water bombers, helicopters, air tankers, and 10 sprinkler systems to get the flames under control
• What’s Next?
Reception centres have been set up for evacuees in Slave Lake at the Legacy Centre, in High Prairie at the Sports Palace, at the Misery Mountain Ski Hill in Peace River, at the Grande Prairie Regional College and at the La Crete Heritage Centre south of La Crete. Premier Jason Kenney asked that all who evacuate register at a reception centre so the government can keep track of residents and maintain contact as the situation evolves.
• Canada: Digital Do-Over
The Trudeau government has big plans to revamp Canada’s digital strategy. The proposal includes a digital charter that promises Canadians data portability – the ability to move, copy or transfer data from one service to another – along with a promise to strengthen the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (a mouthful, but important). Essentially, Trudeau is promising to better protect the personal data of Canadians (so we stop feeling like someone is watching and listening to everything we do). The 10-point digital charter that was introduced last week also aims to tackle prominent online issues, like hate speech, election interference (uh, yes please) and misinformation. Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains says there will be “clear, meaningful penalties for violations of the law and regulations that support these principles.” (Copy that.) CBC News
• World: Shocker Down Under
The results are in for Australia’s 2019 election, and Aussies are shocked. Prime Minister Scott Morrison reached the 76-seat majority, securing the win for the Liberal-National coalition. Political commentators and polls failed to predict this outcome, since it was widely anticipated that the Labor Party would win for the first time in six years. After a string of parliamentary scandals, political commentators predicted the Liberal-National government had seen its time. Clearly, they were wrong. (Sorry, mates.) The new PM’s agenda is yet to be defined, but he’s mentioned plans to upgrade to a coal plant and expand funding for non-government schools. BBC News
• World: Mass Exodus
If you thought the SNC-Lavalin scandal rocked politics, just wait till you hear what’s going on in Austria. Yesterday, every single minister(!) from Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) resigned, after a video showing party leader Heinz-Christian Strache “proposing to offer government contracts to a supposed Russian oligarch’s niece” was released over the weekend. Strache then resigned, and the party threatened a mass resignation if Interior Minister Herbert Kickl was also removed. (Spoiler alert: he was.) With the resignations (which include the foreign minister and ministers for defence, transport, and social affairs), the country is now without half its cabinet. Luckily (or ironically, depending which way you look at it), Austrians are set to head to the polls from May 23 to 26 as part of the EU Parliament elections. BBC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I have compromised, now I ask you to compromise too.”
– British PM Theresa May begs asks the country’s Members of Parliament to take one more kick at the Brexit can by approving the latest version of the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill. MPs will vote on the legislation early next month. BBC News
• Hanging up the Apron
More than 1,000 people are out of a job, as celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s U.K. restaurant empire came crumbling down yesterday. The group of restaurants includes Jamie’s Italian chain, Jamie Oliver’s Diner, Barbecoa, and Fifteen London. Twenty-two out of 25 restaurants have shut down, and the business has been placed into bankruptcy protection. After investing millions of pounds into the business in recent years, the chef had no choice but to call it quits. Rising rents, wages, food costs, changing eating habits and the unfortunate impact of Brexit, made it impossible for the business to survive. Oliver tweeted, “I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years.” Luckily for Canadians, Oliver’s two restaurants in the North will stay open. CNN
• Let’s Get Digital
It’s been so long since the world got an update on Google Glass, we were beginning to think the company had discontinued it. But alas, it’s back and — according to Google at least — better than ever. Priced at US $999, the new Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is being positioned for professional users (think surgeons and factory workers) rather than general consumers (so nope, you still can’t have a pair of your own). Among the new and/or improved features are a better camera, a USB-C port for faster charging and a faster processor with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR1 chip that gives the headset “computer vision and advanced machine learning capabilities.” Also new are safety frames designed in partnership with Smith Optics, ideal for Google’s intended goal of “meet[ing] the demands of the growing market for wearables in the workplace.” The Verge
• Playoffs update 🇨🇦
↳ The Toronto Raptors won game four of the Eastern Conference finals against the Milwaukee Bucks (120-102), evening up the series at two games each. Game five goes down tomorrow night in Milwaukee at 8:30pm ET.
• Scoring an Albatross
We don’t think anyone — even Tiger himself — could have predicted what a banner year 2019 would turn out to be for Tiger Woods. After defying the odds to win the 2019 Masters (his first major tourney victory in 11 years) and being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Trump, the golfer’s return to the limelight is being capped off as any celebrity comeback should be: with a biopic. A biography of the golfer by co-authors Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian published last year is being turned into a scripted miniseries (and yes, all the juicy gossip surrounding Woods’ 2009 infidelity scandal is included in the book — and presumably the series). Along with Tiger Woods the miniseries, Benedict’s deal with Wheelhouse Entertainment will see several of the sports journalist’s written works developed as scripted and unscripted film and television projects. Deadline
• Swing Like a Girl
While North American hockey players are forming a players’ union and a South African track star is appealing against hormone discrimination, Spanish professional squash players are speaking out against some pretty appalling sexism they were recently subjected to. As her first-place prize for winning the Asturias Squash Championship, Elisabet Sadó was gifted with an engraved trophy…and a Durex vibrator. (Wait, what?!) Runners-up in the women’s tournament received Veet waxing kits and electric foot files alongside their trophies while winning athletes in the men’s tournament received only a trophy. (Sorry, dudes.) After the women submitted a formal complaint to the Royal Spanish Squash Federation and returned the “gifts,” the club that organized the competition apologized with a statement saying the “inappropriate gifts…should never have been delivered.” Newsweek
• Paint it Black
Get out your black lipstick, black nail polish and, well, black everything else and crank up the Joy Division — today is World Goth Day, celebrating all things dark and moody.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• The #MeToo movement hits McDonald’s, with 25 new charges of sexual harassment against the fast food giant.
• Apple’s updating its 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros with new (and improved) keyboards and faster processors.
• The Canadians are on quite a roll at the hockey world championship, shutting out Denmark and picking up their fifth straight win.
• ZZ Top is heading back to Sin City — but this time, the band’s music will morph into a rock musical.
• X-Rated Vision
This company is trying to bring Snapchat back to its roots.