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✨ Good morning! Today is Monday, October 28, 2019, and we’re more in love than ever with Jane Fonda.
BULLETIN: FINDERS KEEPERS
• The Background
If you thought it was getting heated in Syria recently, let’s just say things have officially reached a boiling point. A commando raid in Syria by U.S. forces, targeting ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, resulted in his long-awaited death. The successful mission is undoubtedly a significant victory in the fight against the Islamic State. In a nationally televised announcement yesterday morning, President Donald Trump rejoiced in the news, boasting that, “the United States brought the world’s No. 1 terrorist leader to justice.” The 48-year-old terrorist “blew himself up” with a suicide vest, killing him and his three children, as U.S. forces cornered him during a two-hour nighttime raid on his hideout in northern Syria. New York Times
• What Else You Need to Know
Baghdadi’s passing is the most significant death of a terror leader since former President Obama announced al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy Seals. Though unlike Obama’s announcement, Trump repeatedly depicted the ISIS leader and his followers as “sick and depraved losers” and “frightened puppies,” while using inflammatory language to boast his success.
• What’s Next?
The triumphant operation is not only a victory against the Islamic State, but a strategic political move for President Trump, who continues to defend against bipartisan attacks for his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from the region. The praise for the successful mission was also underpinned by criticisms that the White House failed to inform key Democrats about the raid. In other scary news, experts are warning of ISIS retaliation in North America and the Middle East.
• Double Trouble
Northern California is facing not one, but two major hurdles. Amid a slew of blackouts in the region, at least 200,000 residents have been forced to flee their homes to escape the wrath of the Kincade fire — the largest of more than a dozen wildfires now active in the state. So far, the blaze has torched more than 30,000 acres of land since Wednesday night. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) shut down power to 2.3 million people on Saturday, hoping to stop its equipment from sparking fires given the dry and window conditions. Unfortunately, not only did the precautionary act fail to prevent the fire from starting, but it actually may have been the cause of it. USA Today
• U.S.: Staff Scandal
Only four days after the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into allegations that Rep. Katie Hill engaged in sexual relations with congressional and campaign staffers, the freshman government official announced that she’s resigning from office. Hill has denied all allegations, though she does admit to having a relationship with a campaign staffer prior to being elected to Congress. Hill was considered a “rising star” in the Democratic Party and was a member of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership team. The Hill
• World: Chain Reaction
Anti-government protests in Lebanon stretched into an 11th day, as thousands of demonstrators formed a human chain along highways and coastal roads. The protestors are angry about proposed economic reforms and government corruption, demanding that the political elites who have been in power since 1990 step down. Along with the previous protests, the human chain, an unprecedented symbol of national unity, has left the country in a paralyzed state as it continues to grapple with a severe financial crisis. CBC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Now is the time for the Church to not just recognize women’s leadership, but to transform its institutions to honour their leadership sacramentally.”
– A statement from Women’s Ordination Conference, praising a proposal to allow married men and female leaders to become priests in order to address the clergy shortage in the Amazon. (A-wo-men.) ABC News
• In the Clouds
In a battle between tech superpowers, Microsoft beat out Amazon after the U.S. government handed the company a whopping $10 billion cloud contract. The Department of Defence confirmed the contract, known as Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (JEDI), which will serve as the Pentagon’s primary cloud services for basic storage and artificial intelligence processing, machine learning, and developing of mission-critical workloads. The contract will last for 10 years, and it could be just what Microsoft needs to clinch global cloud dominance. The Verge
• Golf: Tiger Ties It Up
Tiger Woods is one step closer to becoming the most decorated golfer of all time. The comeback king won the Zozo Championship in Japan yesterday, tying Sam Snead’s PGA Tour record of 82 wins. It was Woods’ three-stroke win over Hideki Matsuyama that tied it up, and bumped Tiger Woods to sixth in the Official World Golf Rankings. CBS News
• Cooking Up a Classic
One of the world’s most beloved (and missed) chefs is getting the Hollywood treatment. After passing away last June at the young age of 61, Anthony Bourdain’s former employer (CNN) is teaming up with Focus Features and HBO Max to produce a documentary about the revered TV host’s life and legacy. The feature film will be directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, and will first hit theatres before airing on CNN and HBO Max. Hollywood Reporter
• Beer Belly
Drinking and driving is never cool, especially when you do it and deny it. (Cops are much smarter than that.) A North Carolina man who was pulled over by police on suspicion of drunk driving swore to authorities that he hadn’t had a drop of alcohol. Naturally, they didn’t believe him, and neither did the hospital, after doctors found the man’s blood alcohol level at 0.2% — 2.5 times the legal limit and the equivalent of downing 10 drinks in one hour. Turns out, the man had yeast in his gut that was converting carbs into alcohol, caused by a rare condition called auto-brewery system (ABS). (Brew-tal!) CNN
• Box of Chocolates
Today is National Chocolate Day — the sweet treat that helps us get through just about anything.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Two people were killed and 12 others were injured after an unidentified man (who’s still on the loose) opened fire at a homecoming party in Texas.
• In other sad American news, Rep. John Conyers, a longtime Michigan Democrat and the longest serving African-American government official, died yesterday at the age of 90.
• Government officials on the other side of the pond are doing a happy dance after the EU agreed to a three-month Brexit extension.
• Health Canada has added to its recall list of heartburn medications, as it continues to investigate levels of impurity known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) found in the drugs.
• And speaking of recalls, Costco is recalling baby formula due to a possible Cronobacter bacteria contamination.
• Hidden Treasure
Your grandmother’s ugly art may not be so ugly after all.