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✨ Good morning! Today is Wednesday, April 24, 2019 and Tim Cook wants you to stop phubbing people.
BULLETIN: MINORITY REPORT
• The Background
The Progressive Conservatives have taken another bite out of the East Coast. Residents of Prince Edward Island elected a minority PC government yesterday, knocking the Liberals out of power after three terms (which has become standard practice on the island). Rookie Leader Dennis King will become premier (not bad for a guy who’s only been in the leadership role since February), and the Green Party will become the Official Opposition (led by Peter Bevan-Baker). Both Liberal Leader Wade MacLauchlan and NDP Leader Joe Byrne lost in their respective districts. CBC News
• What Else You Need to Know
The Green Party’s rise has been expected for months — ever since August when the party started leading in opinion polls. In fact, the party was seeing such favour among voters that political experts thought P.E.I. may have been the first Canadian province to elect a Green government. But, no such luck, as the Tories switched up their strategy over the last few months and found themselves neck and neck with the Greens and Liberals as the campaign ended.
• What’s Next?
With King poised to take the wheel, there’s bound to be some major changes in the province. If elected, the PC Party promised to expand beer and wine sales to convenience stores, recruit more physicians and nurse practitioners to the island, expand access to mental health care (including building more clinics and developing a new custom-built app) and invest $5 million in a women’s health fund.
• Extreme Violence
A gruesome reality set in in Saudi Arabia yesterday, as the government announced it had beheaded 37 Saudi citizens, and even went so far as to pin one head to a pole. (That should only happen on GOT.) This marks the largest mass nationwide execution in the country’s history, and comes just days after Islamic State gunmen tried to attack a Saudi security building. Not only were the executions carried out by royal decree, but according to Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry, Tuesday’s executions were carried out in accordance with Islamic law, using language that indicated they were all beheadings. The individuals who were executed were said to have had adopted extremist ideologies and had begun to wreak havoc on the country. National Post
• U.S.: Crossing the Pond
The U.K. is getting set to roll out the red gold carpet: President Trump is coming to town. The White House announced yesterday that the president had accepted Queen Elizabeth II’s invitation to visit from June 3 to 5. (No wonder Harry and Meghan are thinking of moving to Africa.) POTUS will participate in D-Day anniversary ceremonies in Portsmouth, in honour of the 75th anniversary of the Allies’ invasion of Europe. Trump will also spend some time with both the Queen and Prime Minister Theresa May, in order to “reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.” Following his visit to the U.K., the president will travel to France to meet with President Emmanuel Macron and observe D-Day celebrations at Normandy beach. The Hill
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Prepare a grand reception. Eat it if you want to.”
– President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, threatens to “declare war” against Canada in retaliation for the delayed removal of 100 shipping containers of garbage that were mistakenly exported to the port of Manila in 2013 and 2014. The cargo was improperly labelled as plastics for recycling and a Philippines court ordered it be returned to Canada in 2016. Duterte is threatening to send it back himself if it’s not removed within a week. CTV News
• The Characters Count
Twitter is doing more with less: the social media company’s shares jumped 13% as it revealed its first quarter earnings. It credited its success to the site’s removal of abusive language and spam. Twitter is working with content providers to patrol its platform and limit the amount of unwanted spam, and focus more on ads about those new jeans you were just googling. Twitter’s monthly active users are now about 330 million, and while this seems like a lot, the execs have explained that the platform is still trying to recover the users it lost last year. In its earnings report, the company also shared that it racked up revenues of $787 million (18% more than last year), and profits of $191 million. A Twitter representative announced it will “continue to improve [its] systems,” with the hopes making even bigger gains in Q2. Reuters
• Damn, Daniel!
Call up your middle-school-aged cousin because just when you thought you had a handle on all things social media, Vine is back (sort of) with a reboot called Byte. To recap: Twitter acquired the original eight-second video platform just before it launched in 2012 — only to shut it down in 2016, clearing the way for China’s TikTok to grow without competition to the tune of 500 million active users. (We bet Jack Dorsey’s kicking himself for that one.) Now, creator Dan Hoffman is back, beta testing his new app. Byte will let users record short, looped vertical videos to what’s currently a reverse-chronological feed with likes and comments (but no account following) — which, let’s face it, sounds a lot like Vine. Byte will need to differentiate itself from the wildly successful TikTok and to do that, Hoffman will be running a series of beta tests that “will include refinements and fixes and unlock new features, including profiles, uploading and trimming video from your camera roll, activity, following, explore, and others.” TechCrunch
• Hockey: Heartbreak in Boston
And just like that, Canada’s chances of bringing home a Stanley Cup in 2019 are over. Following the elimination of both the Winnipeg Jets and the Calgary Flames, the Toronto Maple Leafs lost another game seven to the Bruins in Boston last night. With a final score of 5–1, the loss marks the second time in as many years that the Bruins have been able to best the Leafs in a playoff series. Boston will now face the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round. Sportsnet
• Basketball: On to Round Two
Well, at least we still have basketball! The Toronto Raptors are moving on to round two of the NBA playoffs after a killer performance in game five against the Orlando Magic. The Raps completely dominated from start to finish (the team led by 21 points halfway through the first quarter, before eventually winning 115–96), which bodes well for Toronto’s next matchup: The Raps are set to take on the Philadelphia 76ers in the next round. NBA
• Vivid Voices
The 2019 Peabody Awards’ News and Radio/Podcast winners were announced yesterday, honouring the year’s best in broadcasting and digital storytelling. This year marked the introduction of the new Catalyst Award, received by nonprofit newsroom ProPublica for its “courageous and effective journalism” breaking the family separation practice at the U.S.-Mexico border in June of last year. On the traditional news side many of the recognized works resulted in major policy changes from their subjects — such as “Cambridge Analytica,” a joint exposé by ITN, The Guardian and the New York Times which kicked off Facebook’s downward spiral, and “$2 Tests: Bad Arrests,” from WAGA-TV FOX 5 Atlanta, which unveiled the ineffectiveness of road-side drug-testing kits leading police departments to scrap their use. Radio shows and podcasts all got their due, with NPR’s Buried Truths, WABE’s Believed and NYT’s Caliphate among the winners. The Peabody’s entertainment television and documentary winners were named last week, and a gala for all recipients will be hosted on May 18 in NYC by Ronan Farrow. Variety
• Freedom is Overrated
If you’ve ever been laying on the beach on vacation and wondered how long it would take for a stay in blissed-out paradise to get old, the answer is about 10 years. An escaped convict has reportedly turned himself back in to Salzburg police after fleeing an Austrian prison more than a decade ago. The 64-year-old fugitive arrived with two suitcases in tow, telling cops he’d wanted to return home as he’d grown tired of living in Spain’s Canary Islands. Apparently, he’d been hiding out on the island of Tenerife (which, for the record, looks like this), but told police the island “is not as nice as it used to be and he had lived there long enough” (which leads us to wonder — just how nice are Austria’s prisons?). AOL UK
• Hear, Hear
On April 24, 1704, the very first continuously published newspaper hit newsstands in British North America. It was called the Boston News-Letter, it was heavily subsidized by the British government and all copies were approved by the governor. (How times have changed.)
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a commemorative LGBTQ2 coinyesterday to mark “50 years of progress.”
• We finally know who was behind the coordinated suicide attacks in Sri Lanka: It was ISIS. (Shocker.)
• Jagmeet Singh’s new memoir was released yesterday, and the NDP leader drops some serious bombs, including that he was sexually assaulted at the age of 10.
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to name a settlement after POTUS “in appreciation” of him recognizing Israel’s claim of sovereignty there.
• Expand Your Vocabulary
It’s time to unplug, get swole and prepare for the omnicide.