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✨ Good morning! Today is Thursday, July 4, 2019, and we’re hoping today goes (through) better than yesterday.
BULLETIN: CENSUS SAYS
• The Background
Will they or won’t they? That is the question. It appears that not even the Trump administration is quite sure where it stands on the much-debated citizenship question, with the Justice Department reversing its stance yesterday. According to DOJ representatives, they are “hunting for a way to restore the question” because POTUS told them to. This was a surprise to almost everyone (except maybe the president) sinc the issue seemed to be squashed by both judges and census administration officials — but in typical Trump fashion, he’s vowing to push on, taking to Twitter to announce that the White House is “absolutely moving forward” with plans to add the citizenship question to next year’s census. New York Times
• What Else You Need to Know
Despite court rulings, DOJ officials now believe there could be “a legally available path” for adding the question and will be filing a motion with the Supreme Court to help move things along (and “speed the resolution of lawsuits that are blocking their way”). Unfortunately for them, due to a July 1 deadline, the 2020 census materials are already being printed — without the census question.
• What’s Next?
Well, SCOTUS already rejected the Trump administration’s reason for adding the citizenship question (they called it “contrived”) but did leave it open for a rebuttal. Now that the president’s made his position known, it looks like DOJ lawyers will be trying to come up with a way to make it work.
• Civilian Casualties
At least 40 civilians were killed and hundreds more injured in a brazen attack on a migrant detention centre in Libya. An apparent airstrike was set off by warlord Khalifa Haftar, supported by the West’s Arab allies (including Egypt and Saudi Arabia). The attack targeted a coastal town called Tajoura, east of Tripoli. The Tripoli government’s demanded an international investigation, condemning what it described as a massacre and categorizing the attack as a war crime. Western Libya has been in a three-month battle for control of the capital, putting Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar and his allies against the UN-brokered authority of Tripoli. At least 739 people have died since the conflict began. CNN
• U.S.: A Congressional Crisis
The president and Congress are clashing over a new internal report outlining the dire conditions inside migrant detention centres and the way Customs and Border Protection have been handling the situation. The report, issued by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG), revealed minimal progress in the dismal circumstances at the centres, including no hot meals or showers, separated families, excessive overcrowding and poor hygiene. The report comes at a time of mounting political pressure to address the growing crisis. The squalid conditions are likely to improve, though, after Trump signed a $4.6-billion emergency border funding bill. The Hill
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Don’t be naive and mistakenly think that mustering a certain so-called ally to put pressure on China will have an impact.”
– Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, warns Canada not to rely on the U.S. to solve its diplomatic issues. CTV News
• The Future Is Friendly
Telus is trying to simplify Canadians’ cellphone bills. The telecommunications company just launched a trio of new unlimited rate plans and financing options to promote transparency and simplicity. The three programs include Telus Easy Payment device financing, Peace of Mind and Simple Share rate plans. The Easy Payment plans will allow customers access to any smartphone offered by Telus with $0 up front, with various financing options that can be paid out over 24 months. To eliminate confusion, the plan and the device are listed separately on each month’s bill. The second component to the new promotional rate plans is an increase in data for less money. And finally, Telus’s new Family Discount program offers savings to those with several phone lines. MobileSyrup
• Sit Down
Uber Eats is shaking things up and piloting a new option for its delivery and take-out service, which will actually allow users to not take-out at all. Instead, users will be able to order their food and pop into the restaurant to eat it (without waiting for a table or to order). Customers can ask that their food’s ready asap, or schedule their meal for a specific time. As usual, notifications will be sent to the user about the status of their meal, and it’s then up to them to get to the restaurant for dining. While the standard delivery fee and services fees are waived (🙏🏼), there are reports that some prices in the app are higher than on the restaurants’ menus. The dine-in option is currently being tested in Austin, Dallas, Tucson and San Diego. The Verge
• Hockey: Helping Hand
The Canadian women’s hockey league may be no more, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still hold a special place in the hearts of hockey fans. Yesterday, the now defunct league announced that the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Calgary Flames, the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association, and Hockey Canada have all pitched in to help it settle its debts. According to CWHL board chair Laurel Walzak, “the CWHL is in the process of paying everyone and will be able to close in an orderly fashion.” The league announced it was folding back in April. Sportsnet
• Breaking Barriers
Halle Bailey, of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle, is stepping into the magical world of Disney. The singer’s been picked to play Ariel in Disney’s latest live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. According to director Rob Marshall, Bailey was the obvious choice: “After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role.” Bailey tweeted out the good news with a picture of an animated Ariel with a darker skin tone and black hair to match the singer. But Bailey’s not the only actress in Marshall’s sights: According to the rumour mill, Melissa McCarthy is gearing up to play the film’s villain Ursula. Daily Beast
📖👀🎧 THE UBER CANADIAN WEEKEND PLAYLIST
Get ready for some serious girl power. Whisper Network is a new #MeToo-centred novel by Chandler Baker, which tells the story of four women at the same company who choose to rebel against an abusive boss.
Take a trip down memory lane with a cover version of “Higher Love,” recorded by Whitney Houston and remixed by DJ du jour Kygo.
• I Scream, You Scream
Germaphobes, look away. A young American woman is wanted by police, after she was seen in a viral video licking a tub of ice cream before returning it to a supermarket freezer. (Check your seals before purchasing, people.) In the video, the woman is shown opening a tub of Blue Bell Ice Cream as the man filming the incident says, “lick it! lick it!”. The nine-second clip has already been viewed more than 11 million times. Blue Bell Creameries issued a statement saying they take the issue “very seriously” and are working with authorities to address the problem. It’s still not clear who shot the video and the woman has not yet been found. CTV News
• Fireworks and Fury
Today is Independence Day, a U.S. holiday commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States, which was signed on July 4, 1776. Common celebrations include fireworks, parades, BBQs, carnivals, concerts, and picnics. But it’s not all fun and games — this year, military chiefs are worried about Trump’s July 4th event, where he plans to showcase tanks, bombers and other weaponry.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Too late to say sorry? Apparently Canada’s being labelled as a “high risk” country in an escalating global garbage crisis.
• Good news for pot-smokers: Ontario is issuing 50 new cannabis store licenses, and eight are going to First Nations.
• In the epitome of “too little, too late,” Boeing has pledged $100 million to help families impacted by this year’s deadly crashes.
• The Women’s World Cup final is set: The United States will take on the Netherlands in the gold medal game on Sunday at 11am ET.
• Sarah Jessica Parker is saying goodbye to TV once again. The star’s comedy Divorce is ending after its current season.
• After a whirlwind wedding weekend in Paris, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner (who’s now officially a Jonas) just shared the first photos of their star-studded nuptials.
• Never Not Hungry
We’re really surprised nobody thought of this sooner.