Not Your Average Tuesday

Almost 80 students are kidnapped in Cameroon, major U.S. networks pull a commercial approved by POTUS, and Google's willing to block all your bad ads.

Not Your Average Tuesday

Almost 80 students are kidnapped in Cameroon, major U.S. networks pull a commercial approved by POTUS, and Google's willing to block all your bad ads.
November 6 Bullet Cameroon Kidnapping

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✨  Good morning! Today is Tuesday, November 6, 2018 and this revelation from Ariana should be shocking to no woman.


• The Background

Seventy-nine students, their principal and their school bus driver have been kidnapped from a Presbyterian school near the city of Bamenda in Cameroon. The group was ambushed late Sunday night by armed masked men, who later identified themselves as members of a separatist group called “Amba boys,” named after Ambazonia, the state they hope to establish should they separate from Cameroon. (The city the children were abducted from has been at the centre of Cameroon’s Anglophone separatist movement, with militia from the country’s two English-speaking regions demanding independence.) According to a student who evaded capture by hiding under a bed, the kidnappers beat one of the students “mercilessly” and threatened to “shoot some people.” BBC News

• What Else You Need to Know

The group released a video yesterday on social media showing some of the kidnapped students. In the video, the boys (all between the ages of 10 and 14) are being ordered to share their names and the names of the parents as well as the area they’re from. They also recite the same phrase, saying, “I was taken from school last night by the Amba boys, I don’t know where I am.” The group has demanded that the government close down Cameroon schools (which they say “suppresses the English-speaking system that the North-West and South-West regions inherited from the British”). And according to the moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, the Right Reverend Fonki Samuel Forba, they’ve promised to close the schools.

• What’s Next?

The government has started a massive search for the missing students, using the country’s police and army. According to an official, “every man has been called in.”


• In Their Dust

French rescue teams were on a race against the clock yesterday, after two buildings collapsed suddenly in the city of Marseille. While one was condemned and likely uninhabited (though no word on if there was anyone living there illegally), the other was an apartment building that many French citizens called home. At least two people were injured in the streets when the buildings gave way; one body has been found in the rubble and authorities suspect at least five to eight more are injured. Fire officials also brought down an adjacent building, after they were concerned an accidental collapse would injure rescue crews. CTV News


• Canada: Do the Shuffle

Early yesterday morning, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that his cabinet was getting a bit of a makeover — though he didn’t exactly explain why. Turns out, two members of Ford’s inner circle had been accused of sexual misconduct, forcing their resignations and sparking the shuffle. Jim Wilson, minister of economic development and trade, along with Andrew Kimber, Ford’s executive director of issues management and legislative affairs both resigned Friday after the allegations became public. As a result of the resignations, John Yakabuski was demoted from the transportation ministry to head up the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; Jeff Yurek is taking over the the transportation post; Michael Tibollo is moving from minister of community safety and correctional services to minister of tourism, culture and sport; Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones will take over Tibollo’s former post. Bill Walker is now minister of government and consumer services. Global News

• U.S.: Bad Ad

In a move that will surprise almost nobody, CNN decided not to air a racist Republican ad. But what will surprise some, is that Fox News and NBC followed suit, eventually pulling it, too. The 30-second spot, which aired over the weekend and was approved by the president, attempts to connect Luis Bracamontes (an undocumented Mexican immigrant who was convicted of killing two Sacramento deputies in 2014) and the migrant caravan that’s currently making its way towards the U.S. through Mexico (and infuriating DT in the process). Several prominent Hollywood names spoke out against the ad, including Debra Messing (currently starring on NBC’s Will & Grace) who said she was “ashamed of her network” and director Judd Apatow, who said he was “disgusted” that someone approved airing the ad. Though CNN was the first to refuse the ad (they deemed it racist from the jump), NBC and Fox pulled it after the backlash. Business Insider

• World: Oil and Water

Tensions are continuing to escalate between the U.S. and Iran, with Iran’s president warning that the two countries had reached a “war situation.” Six months after POTUS pulled America out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Washington implemented its previously announced sanctions on the oil-rich nation. The hope is that the sanctions will “cripple” Tehran’s oil and shipping industries and force the government to squash its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and to stop sending support to “militant proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.” (So, no big deal.) As of this week, all countries who purchase crude oil from Iran will face financial repercussions, except China, India, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, Taiwan and Turkey, which all have a 180-day grace period. CBC News


UN member states must end their deafening silence on Saudi Arabia and do their duty of scrutinizing the cruelty in the kingdom in order to prevent further outrageous human rights violations.

Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East director of campaigns, calls out the complacency of United Nations countries regarding the Saudi government’s “long-standing repression of critics” which led to Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. Al Jazeera


• On the Down Lowe’s

Lowe’s business model is undergoing a major renovation. Yesterday, the home improvement store announced it’s closing 27 stores across Canada, along with two regional support centres and two other plants — plus another 20 stores in U.S. The company says the move is being made in order to streamline and focus on “the most profitable parts of its business.” Locations set to shutter by the end of January 2019 include nine outlets in each Ontario and Quebec, six in Newfoundland and Labrador, two in Alberta and one in British Columbia. The company hasn’t said how many jobs will be affected, but according to Sylvain Prud’homme, chief executive of Lowe’s Canada, the retailer plans to “support impacted employees,” by transferring “eligible” workers to other locations “whenever possible.” Global News


• Ad-Free Experience

Aggressive and misleading pop-up ads are pretty much the bane of every internet user’s existence. Google’s solution to this persistent problem? Block all the ads, legit or not. Launching next month, the Chrome 71 browser will add a new feature to fight abusive advertising. If a site is found to show abusive ads — defined as ads that generate fake system messages, automatically redirect you without consent, or attempt to steal personal information — Chrome will block out every ad on the site, rather than singling out just the troublemakers. Once a site is reported for an abusive ad experience, the site owner will have a 30-day grace period to clean it up — after that, its advertising efforts will be permanently banned, effectively suppressing a major source of the flagged site’s revenue. (If only they could apply the same filter to our Tinder inbox.) The Verge


• MMA: Fight Night

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is making his return to the ring — but it won’t be on American soil. The star boxer will take on star kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve in Japan, his first fight since signing with mixed martial arts promotions company RIZIN Fighting Federation. The 41-year-old former five-weight world champion gave very few details about the format or the rules or weight class of the bout, but said more details will be released in the next few weeks. Both Mayweather and Nasukawa are undefeated in their respective styles, with Mayweather going 50–0 and Nasukawa going 27–0 in kickboxing and 4–0 in MMA. CNN


• The Fab Five Four

The Spice Girls have finally officially announced their long-rumoured reunion tour — well, 80% of them, at least. Melanie Brown (a.k.a Scary Spice), Emma Bunton (Baby), Geri Halliwell Horner (Ginger) and Melanie Chisholm (Sporty) will serenade sold-out (we assume) stadiums around the U.K. next year in a six-show set that we can only hope (and dream and pray) will be extended across the pond. Spoilsport Victoria Beckham will be absent from the lineup (despite some playful Halloween prodding from Mel B). Posh wished her former girl gang well in a statement (“Being in the Spice Girls was a hugely important part of my life and I wish my girls so much love and fun as they go back on tour.”), but didn’t fess up a to why she’ll be skipping out. If you’re down to make a transatlantic trip out of it, tickets go on sale Saturday. The Guardian


• Eyes On Me

There’s a long list of things employers expect to teach new employees: team management, public speaking, and using company software programs among them. One thing they don’t expect to teach their star hires? Basic life skills. But that’s exactly what’s going down at one of the world’s top tech companies. It’s hired a Boston-based wellness initiative to help new employees develop a skill they’re sorely lacking: Eye contact. (It’s a tough one these days.) Jeremy Nobel, founder of The UnLonely Project, wouldn’t name the company, but says his staff was working with one the FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, or Google) when they noticed “many of the firm’s employees, particularly younger males, were struggling with basic interpersonal skill to a degree that was hurting their work teams.” (We’d assume so.) They’ve started teaching them how to make appropriate social eye contact during IRL conversations. In brief: make eye contact for 50% of the time when you’re speaking, 70% when you’re listening, and look to the side, not down, when looking away. (Yes, this is what it’s come down to, folks.)  “You can’t collaborate and connect with other people if you can’t make eye contact,” says Nobel, so teaching staff these skills is “good for their business model.” (Not to mention, good for the future of the human race.) Quartz


Sometimes there’s just too much news and not enough space.

• The U.S. Supreme Court has opted not to review the repeal of net neutrality, despite requests from public interest groups and state attorneys general.

• CBC vice-president Heather Conway is resigning from her role after five years in charge of the public broadcaster’s English TV, radio and digital services

Self-driving shopping carts have made their debut at Korea’s largest supermarket chain, E-Mart.

• Mac Miller’s cause of death has been confirmed: the rapper died of a deadly mix of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol.

The Walking Dead fans may not have seen the last of Rick Grimes. Andrew Lincoln said the character is heading for the big screen, with production set to begin in 2019.


• Election Day in America

We’ve been talking about it for weeks, and the day is finally here: Our neighbours to the south are voting in their national midterm elections, in what could reshape the future of Trump’s presidency. Brush up on the background — and why this election is so darned important — ASAP


• Worldclass Waterfowl

Canadian modesty strikes again.

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