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✨ Good morning! Today is Friday, November 30, 2018 and this is making us rethink our expensive shoe habit.
BULLETIN: GROUP THINK
• The Background
If you thought high school was full of drama, wait till this weekend’s G20 Summit. Amidst tons of international “excitement” (China! Russia! Saudi Arabia!), leaders from all over the world have descended on Buenos Aires in Argentina to discuss everything from cryptocurrencies to trade to international conflicts. The drama started before the meeting even kicked off, with President Trump cancelling his planned meeting with frenemy Vladimir Putin over the escalating situation between Russia and the Ukraine (more on that later) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel announcing that she’s skipping the summit’s opening remarks after her plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Cologne. Al Jazeera
• What Else You Need to Know
There are some major events happening over the course of the Summit (which starts today and wraps up tomorrow), including the likely signing of the new NAFTA. According to reports, PM Trudeau, POTUS and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will all be present to make the long-awaited continental trade agreement a reality, signing the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA) into law. World leaders will also be forced to come face-to-face with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the first time since journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. French President Emmanuel Macron and POTUS will also be in the same room at the Summit, after their war of words earlier this month.
• What’s Next?
Expect a lot of developments to come out of the two-day meeting. POTUS is expected to have “pull aside” talks with both the leaders of Turkey and South Korea (as well as possibly announcing a trade deal with China), while Macron is expected to have a “sideline chat” with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince.
• The Cost of Living
We know the federal government’s running a deficit — and now we may have some insight into what’s contributing to that debt. Yesterday, parliamentary budget officer Yves Giroux released his report on irregular migrants (a.k.a. migrants who cross the border without the proper authorization or documentation) and according to his data, those asylum-seekers cost Canada a whopping $340 million this year, and are on track to cost the country almost $400 million in 2019. Giroux also noted that the cost per irregular migrant will continue to increase, as the wait times to complete the process increase. It’s estimated that by 2020, the cost per migrant will rise to $16,666. Despite an influx of support from the feds (they promised $173 million over two years), the rise in irregular migrants (we’ve seen a spike since the beginning of 2017) is proving that Ottawa just can’t keep up. CTV News
• Canada: Facing the Music
The Canadian government is taking a stand against Saudi Arabia and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Yesterday, Ottawa announced sanctions against 17 people “responsible for or complicit in” Khashoggi’s murder, including a friend and close advisor of the crown prince. Those affected by the sanctions won’t be able to enter Canada and any assets they have in Canada have been frozen. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland made the announcement, saying Canada had a “responsibility to react” and that the murder was “abhorrent and represents an unconscionable attack on freedom of expression and freedom of the press.” CTV News
• U.S.: Guilty As Sin
POTUS’s former lawyer has admitted what we all already knew: he lied. Yesterday, Michael Cohen sat in a federal court and pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. According to the charges, during the presidential election, Trump spoke extensively with Cohen (who was his attorney at the time) about the proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow. “Out of an obligation to Trump” and to be consistent with the president’s political messaging, Cohen told Congress that the conversations about the project ended before the Iowa caucuses in January 2016. The president’s critics were quick to jump to conclusions, saying Cohen’s admission shows Trump was engaged in business dealings with Russia during an election where they apparently interfered to make sure he was elected. CNN
QUOTE OF THE DAY
We hope that states within NATO are now ready to relocate naval ships to the Sea of Azov in order to assist Ukraine and provide security.
– Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, asking for international assistance amidst rising tensions with Russia. Global News
• The Green to Stream
Netflix and Chill is no longer a cheap date option. Netflix Canada just announced a price hike, effective immediately. (Bah humbug!) The move’s a ballsy one, considering the number of streaming services that are bound to bring some hot competition to Netflix’s once monopolized market. With the streaming giant’s biggest price hike to date, customers with the standard plan will now pay $13.99 per month or $16.99 for a premium plan (an increase of $3) and basic plan customers will now be charged $9.99 (up $1). According to Netflix, the increases will help fund upcoming original TV series and films. The change comes after the introduction of Bell Media’s new Crave+, announced earlier this month, and ahead of the expected Disney+ streaming service set to debut next year. (And if that price hike has you riled up, this Canadian coffee chain’s price increases might just push you over the edge.) Financial Post
• Smart Banking
Your investment advisor has been replaced — and not by a human. The Royal Bank of Canada just launched InvestEase across Canada, a robo-adviser program that will give new and existing RBC customers investment recommendations online. RBC InvestEase joins BMO’s own SmartFolio and the indie financial tech (a.k.a. fintech) robo-adviser Wealthsimple, which has more than 100,000 clients across Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. Basically, if you hate standing in line at the bank but want investment advice (and let’s be real — that’s all of us), then this is for you. CP24
• Basketball: The Real Deal
If anyone doubted the Toronto Raptors could take this season all the way, last night’s performance proved it’s possible. Facing off for the first time against back-to-back NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, Toronto’s new lineup held their own, leading for most of the game before sealing the W in overtime, 131–128. (To be fair, the Warriors played without two of their stars — Stephen Curry and Draymond Green — but it was still an important win.) As expected, new Rap Kawhi Leonard and vet Kyle Lowry helped the team to victory, scoring 37 points and 10 points respectively. Forward Pascal Siakam also had a huge game, contributing 26 points to the Raps’ 131. The Raptors were the top team in the league going into last night’s game (they’ve won seven straight), but they came out of it looking a lot more like world champions — and these wannabe world champs will get their chance to face the fully stacked Warriors on Dec. 12. Bleacher Report
Leave it to Shonda Rhimes to launch the first-ever female directing mentorship. Partnering with the non-profit SeriesFest, which showcases leading talent in episodic storytelling around the world, television empire Shondaland is launching the Women Directing Mentorship. A part of their “Featuring Women” platform, the initiative opened submissions yesterday and will close March 4, 2019. The winner will be announced in June and will have the opportunity to shadow a director on one of Shondaland’s many TV series for a day. (No spoilers, please!) The mentorship was launched alongside the Jan Marino Scholarship, which supports women over 55 attending the Stephens College M.F.A. in Television and Screenwriting program. (Demonstrating it’s never too late to support your fellow women.) Deadline
• Sweet Surprise
While we’d like to think most people would return a found wallet with all its contents intact, the reality is you’re lucky to ever see it again. Some would rifle through the contents and return it to a lost and found or police department (taking a reward for its safe return), while others would clean it out and ditch it in the trash. However, one very, very lucky man (a.k.a. 20-year-old Hunter Shamatt) not only got his wallet back with its contents inside, but the man who returned it added a little something extra for good luck. The finder mailed Shamatt’s wallet back with a note: “Found this on a Frontier flight from Omaha to Denver-row 12, seat F wedged between the seat and wall. Thought you might want it back. All the best. P.S.: I rounded your cash up to an even $100 so you could celebrate getting your wallet back. Have fun!!!” Shammat’s mom posted the sweet note on Facebook, and it’s since gone viral. They’re hoping to find the good samaritan and thank them properly for his (or her) generosity. Fox 12
• Stupid Snacking
Ever dug into a supermarket snack before you’ve actually paid for it? (Guilty.) Well that kind of hangry behaviour could land you in jail — if you live in Ireland, that is. A 25-year-old woman was booted out of a supermarket after staff realized she was banned from the store (that’s a whole other story…) and she was forced to leave before she had the chance to pay for her €1.50 pack of Pringles (which she did open after they asked her to leave). Instead of just collecting the change and sending the delinquent on her way, the store charged Kathleen McDonagh with “criminal damage” to the pack of Pringles. (🙄) She was found guilty and because of her prior offences, is now headed to jail for two months over what the judge called “smart alec behaviour.” (Guess you could say her chips are down.) Irish Times
STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Another Canadian diplomat has fallen ill in Cuba, and now the government is “reviewing” its presence in the country.
• Ontario MPP Amanda Simard has called it quits on the PC party (and will sit as an independent) over its cuts to French services in the province.
• According to a new (non-partisan) report, America does not have an immigration problem, and illegal immigration is actually at a 12-year low.
• Rogers Media has finally unloaded one of its publications: MoneySensehas been sold to Ratehub.ca for an undisclosed amount.
• Wolverine’s going on tour! Hugh Jackman (who, FYI, is quite a talented singer) announced The Man. The Music. The Show. yesterday, which will make 34 stops in 2019. Ticket sales start Dec. 7.
• Powerful Mix
On Nov. 30, 1998, Exxon and Mobil signed a deal to merge, worth US $73.7 billion. The agreement created ExxonMobil, which, at the time, was the world’s largest company.
• Merry Cherry
Terrified? Yes. Surprised? No.