When Hell Freezes Over

The Weather Network's heeding a winter warning, Amazon and Apple launch free services and a new Judge is threatening Judge Judy's reign.
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When Hell Freezes Over

The Weather Network's heeding a winter warning, Amazon and Apple launch free services and a new Judge is threatening Judge Judy's reign.
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✨  Good morning! Today is Tuesday, November 27, 2018 and this is the feel-good comeback the world really needs right now.


BULLETIN: WINTER’S TALE

• The Background

It’s become pretty effin’ clear that winter is here, but we’re almost 100% sure she’s got some tricks up her sleeve. According to the Weather Network, which released its seasonal predictions yesterday, Canadians should expect a “mixed bag” of weather over the next few months. Residents of Western Canada should count their lucky stars: experts are predicting an early end to winter on the Pacific coast. However, Eastern Canada isn’t going to get quite as lucky. Chief meteorologist Chris Scott says residents in Central and Eastern Canada will be “begging for spring” come early March. But before you pack your bags and take off for the tropics, hear this: It’s an El Nino year, so most Canadians can expect milder temperatures. (Hallelujah.) CTV News

• What Else You Need to Know

Winter tends to be a low point in the year for us, and the 2018-2019 winter season won’t be any exception. For residents of Ontario and Quebec, the network’s predicting an “overall long and cold” winter with an “especially bitter” second half. And while much of the country will enjoy milder temperatures, Quebec and Ontario didn’t make the cut — both provinces will see (at some points) below-normal temperatures. The only good news for those two is there’ll likely be less snow. On the other hand, in addition to its early end to winter, B.C. will enjoy less snow and warmer temperatures than residents are used to. Worst off is Atlantic Canada, which Scott predicts will see “a long and stormy winter, with significant snowfall.” As for the middle of the country, the Prairies will see a mix of the West Coast’s mild winter and the East Coast’s brutal weather. Most of Northern Canada will see warmer temperatures, with some seeing a little more snowfall than usual.

• What’s Next?

Four months of blistery hell. Sorry.


POLITICS

• Canada: Questionable Behaviour

ICYMI, two B.C. legislature officials were suspended last week — though they’re not quite sure why. What Sergeant-at-Arms Gary Lenz and Clerk Craig James do know? Both of their suspensions are tied to an RCMP investigation, but neither of them have been interviewed by police or given any details about the allegations against them. At a press conference in B.C. yesterday, they asked that their suspensions be reversed while the RCMP wraps up its investigation. In the meantime, the situation is showing some signs of misconduct: the Opposition has said that Speaker Darryl Plecas hired his friend Allan Mullen to investigate Lenz and James, and then later hinted that Mullen could replace Lenz as Sargeant-at-Arms. CBC News

• Canada: Neighbourly Spat

Don’t worry B.C.: Ontario and Alberta are bringing the drama, too. Yesterday, Alberta’s government launched a trade challenge against Ontario, claiming the province’s liquor policies are “unfair” to the rest of the country. The complaint was filed under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, and targets Ontario because it has the biggest liquor market in Canada (so the other provinces aren’t off the chopping block just yet). According to Alberta’s Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous, “Alberta merchants stock and sell 745 alcoholic beverages from Ontario” but Ontario only stocks 20 from Alberta. According to the challenge, Ontario also “gives local brewers access to stores over Alberta brewers, gives Ontario beverages preferential shelf or refrigerated locations, requires Alberta brewers to provide commercially confidential information to their larger competitors to be listed and gives Ontario small brewers a significant discount on listing costs.” Ontario now has 120 days to respond to the challenge, before it goes to a CFTA panel for a ruling. Global News

• World: Bad Blood

While Russia and the Ukraine haven’t exactly been getting along over the past few years, things took an aggressive turn over the weekend when Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels. Then yesterday, Ukraine’s parliament voted to declare martial law in the country for 30 days, meaning Ukraine strengthened its air defence and partially mobilized its troops (they’re on “full combat alert”). According to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, the defence ministry had also gathered intelligence about “a highly serious threat of a ground operation against Ukraine from Russia.” Critics of the president say he’s only introducing martial law to delay a general election scheduled for March. National Post


QUOTE OF THE DAY

It’s necessary to protect the public interest and avoid further harm to the Canadian economy.

Federal Labour Minister Patty Hadju, announcing that Bill C-89 had received Royal Assent and that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers was being legislated back to work as of 12pm today. Newswire


BUSINESS

• Car Trouble

It’s official, and it’s more widespread than we’d feared. General Motors announced plans yesterday to “unallocate” three manufacturing plants in North America: Oshawa, Ontario; Detroit, Michigan; and Warren, Ohio — and, rumour has it, reallocate production to Mexico. The move puts some 14,000 Canadian and American jobs on the line, counting both factory workers and white-collar executive employees, with restructuring set to “reduce salaried and salaried contract staff by 15%, which includes 25% fewer executives to streamline decision making.” PM Justin Trudeau, Premier Doug Ford, and Jerry Dias, president of Unifor — the union that represents workers at the Oshawa plant — all expressed their frustration at the news to varying degrees of disappointment, denial and anger, with Trudeau promising the federal government would do what it can to help laid off workers “get back on their feet.” Along with the layoffs, GM is also streamlining its product lineup: Come March 2019, it will cease production of the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt and the Chevy Cruze sedan due to poor sales, and instead invest in a renewed focus on battery-powered electric and autonomous vehicles. The Verge

TECH

• Higher Education

Why pay thousands of dollars for classes when the world’s top tech companies are offering them for free? For Cyber Monday, Amazon announced it’s making its internal machine learning courses — the same ones its own engineers follow in training — available to the public. The 30 different courses include more than 45 hours of material that starts “with the fundamentals, and builds on those through real-world examples and labs, allowing developers to explore machine learning through some fun problems we have had to solve at Amazon.” (Sounds…fun?) Not to be outdone, Apple’s revealed some educational initiatives of its own. Along with hosting free one-hour coding sessions for kids aged six and up at its stores, it’s also helping kids and teachers start coding clubs at school with its new Swift Coding Club kit and beefing up the materials on offer for K–12 teachers participating in Computer Science Education Week. Lastly, Apple has also introduced its new Entrepreneur Camp (also free!): an intensive two-week program for female-identifying entrepreneurs focused on app development. The lab provides female founders with one-on-one coding assistance from Apple engineers, as well as sessions on design, technology and App Store marketing. TechCrunch

SPORTS

• Baseball: The Odd Couple

Two of the most admired names in Canadian baseball are reuniting — but it won’t be on this side of the border. Former Blue Jay Josh Donaldson (a.k.a. the Bringer of Rain) has signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves, reportedly worth a whopping $23 million. (Guess it’s a small price to pay for a former American League MVP.) The move reunites Donaldson with former Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who now holds the same position in the Braves’ organization. Funnily enough, it was Anthopolous who orchestrated the Oakland trade that brought Donaldson to Toronto way back in 2014. Sportsnet

ENTERTAINMENT

• Disorder in the Court

Watch out, Judge Judy — Jerry Springer is coming for you. Though his tabloid talk show was cancelled after 27 years this spring, Jerry Springer is coming back to the small screen as Judge Jerry. A statement from NBCUniversal TV says the new reality show, scheduled to debut in fall 2019, will “merge Jerry’s talent for connecting with people, his incredibly relatable and funny personality and his legal training and governing experience to bring viewers a more entertaining court show.” (Before Springer hit the big time with his tabloid talk show, he was a practicing lawyer for more than 15 years — who knew?) “For the first time in my life, I am going to be called honourable,” said Springer in a statement. “My career is coming full circle and I finally get to put my law degree to use after all these years.” L.A. Times

DAILY WTF

• Stick it to ‘Em

According to one (dubious) study making the website rounds, putting up your Christmas decorations early can actually make you happier and it seems one retailer is banking on that whole “you can’t put a price on happiness” thing. Anthropologie recently released its uber whimsical holiday decor collection to much fanfare, but there’s one item in the bunch that’s causing shoppers a bit of sticker-shock: a bundle of birch twigs, priced at US $42. The “Birch Branch Bundle” is intended to bring an outdoorsy touch to your holiday decor, perhaps stashed in a pearlescent vase or artfully strewn on a fireplace mantle — but it’s still literally just a bunch of sticks…20 of them to be precise. Worst of all, the branches — available only in “Color: Brown” — are described on the website as “imported.” Do yourself a favour and forage up some locally-sourced twigs from your own backyard instead. Hello Giggles


STRAIGHT TO THE POINT

One person is dead and several others injured after a car jumped the curb in Manhattan while trying to parallel park.

• Turkish police are now searching a luxury villa that they believe is connected to journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

• Could the Trump channel be coming to a TV near you? The president floated the idea of a state-run network to show the world what America’s really like: “GREAT!”

• Set your PVRs: The Emmy Awards are scheduled for Sept. 22, 2019 on Fox.

• Send some love to Oprah Winfrey. Her mother passed away yesterday at the age of 83.


TODAY IS

• #GivingTuesday

Now that #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday are behind us, it’s time to take a break from consumerism (before diving back in to holiday excess) with Giving Tuesday. The movement is dedicated to giving back in anyway you can, whether that’s making a charitable donation or volunteering your time for a worth cause.

PARTING SHOT

• Less Sparkle, Markle

When you grandmother-in-law is the Queen, it’s wise to let her win.


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