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✨ Good morning! Today is Friday, September 6, 2019, and this explains a lot.
BULLETIN: WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS
• The Background
Over the last week, Hurricane Dorian has proved it’s a force to be reckoned with. At least 20 people were killed in the Bahamas by the storm, including a Canadian mother of four. After battering the islands, the storm dropped to a Category 2 hurricane and turned to the Carolinas, pounding the coast with blinding rain and sharp winds, spawning small tornadoes and leaving widespread power outages and flooding in its wake. The storm is continuing to creep up the East Coast, and is expected to make landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina at some point today. Forecasters say the storm surge is a huge concern, as waters are predicted to flood up to eight feet in some regions. Governors from both North and South Carolina ordered mandatory evacuations in the coastal regions, displacing one million people from their homes. New York Times
• What Else You Need to Know
Sadly, Canada is not being spared from Dorian’s wrath. The storm is projected to hit parts of Atlantic Canada tomorrow morning as it travels into the southern marine waters of the Maritimes. By then, the storm will likely lower to a Category 1 hurricane, or a very strong post-tropical storm. The heaviest rainfall is expected Saturday afternoon through the evening, and is predicted to impact mainland Nova Scotia, P.E.I., and southern New Brunswick. Tropical storm winds are also expected, as well as flooding.
• What’s Next?
Residents in Atlantic Canada are being warned that power outages and extensive damage to infrastructure are a likely possibility if the storm hits the region.
• Do Something
Following the deadliest month for violent crimes against women in South Africa, women from across the country marched to parliament in Cape Town to condemn the government’s failure to address the escalating problem. Protestors have planned a national shutdown today and are calling for the government to declare a state of emergency. Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa, admitted the government has work to do in handling the surge of women being raped and murdered. At least 137 sexual offences, mostly against women, are committed per day in South Africa. The Guardian
• U.S.: Under the Gun
The Texas government has been under pressure to make changes after two deadly mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa last month. Yesterday, the government took the bold measure of issuing eight executive orders to address the rise in gun violence in the state. The eight orders signed by Gov. Greg Abbott include developing standardized intake questions to help identify suspicious activity, as well as ordering the Texas Department of Public Safety to implement programs aimed at improving awareness for flagging potential mass shooters. Abbott is also calling for an increase in staff at “all fusion centres in Texas” to closely monitor social media and online forums for any potential threats. The Hill
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“China plays by a very different set of rules and principles than we do in the west.”
– Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, commenting on China’s decision to imprison two Canadian men, on suspicion of spying. The move is widely regarded as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. CBC News
• Fine Time
The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has just slapped four major airlines with fines totalling $45K for failing to properly comply with the new federal Air Passenger Protection Regulations. As of July 15, airlines flying out of Canada had to display notices at various locations informing passengers that they’re entitled to compensation if they’re denied boarding or their luggage is lost or damaged. Each airline was charged $2,500 per infraction; WestJet grabbed the top spot with $17,500 in penalties, while Air Canada picked up $12,500, and Air Transat and Porter were each saddled with $7,500 in fines. (Given what we’ve endured at the airport, that’s just fine by us.) CBC News
• Watch Out!
German sportswear company Puma is getting in on the smartwatch action with the launch of its own geeky gadget in partnership with Fossil Group. The device, aimed at athletes, comes equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset, Google’s accessory-friendly Android operating system, Wear OS, a nylon and aluminum case, and a silicone strap — plus heart-rate monitoring, GPS tracking, and Google’s virtual assistant. (That’s one cool cat.) Puma’s smartwatch is being released in November in three colours — black, white, and yellow — for US $275 (no word on Canadian pricing yet), making it cheaper than both Apple’s Watch Series 4 (from $519) and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active2 ($399). CNBC
• Watch Out!
Fresh off her Rogers Cup win, Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her eye on another prize: the U.S. Open. Last night, the 19-year-old Mississauga, Ont., native beat Belinda Bencic of Switzerland to earn herself a trip to her first Grand Slam finals, where she’ll once again face off against Serena Williams. Andreescu took Bencic down in two straight sets (7–6, 7–5) and quickly sparked a new trending hashtag: #ShetheNorth. You can catch all the action in the women’s final tomorrow at 4pm ET. TSN
• The First Night
Last night, Hollywood heavyweights hit the red carpet for the first night of the Toronto International Film Festival. Opening this year’s fest was Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band, a documentary about — you guessed it — Canadian Robbie Robertson, his bandmates and their rise to fame (and fall from grace). It’s the perfect combination of Canadian and American talent (the movie’s produced by Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese and Brian Grazer). This weekend, expect some major star power on the streets of the 6ix: tonight, Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan’s Just Mercy is on the schedule; J.Lo et al. will be in town tomorrow night for the premiere of Hustlers; Tom Hanks will bring his Mr. Rogers biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood to TO; and Nicole Kidman’s much buzzed-about The Goldfinch will premiere on Sunday night.
• Doing What They Can
It’s been said that hard times can bring people together, and that’s proven especially true this week. Hollywood couple Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, who share two kiddos and have a third on the way, donated $2 million to NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. Meanwhile people big and small have already started pitching in where they can to help deal with the damage left in Hurricane Dorian’s wake; HGTV star Bryan Baeumler has raised roughly $70,000 and six-year-old Jermaine Bell, who’d saved up enough money to take his family to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for his seventh birthday, decided to use that money to buy food for the hurricane evacuees instead. (We’re not crying, you’re crying.)
• (Wo)Man in the Mirror
A woman in Utah has been arrested after calling emergency services to report a suspected drunk driver — however, when she was asked to provide a description, she described herself and her vehicle. (Those beer goggles really work wonders.) Despite literally calling the cops to her location, the woman ran once officers showed up to arrest her. She was soon apprehended and restrained (and unsurprisingly, sedated at a local hospital). A search of her car led police to find a nearly-empty bottle of Fireball whiskey. She was charged on Aug. 17 with a DUI and having open alcohol in a vehicle. Deseret News
• England’s Rose
Today marks 22 years since Princess Diana’s funeral, which was attended by 2,000 people and broadcasted to 2.5 billion around the world. Elton John performed an iconic rendition of “Candle in the Wind,” with lyrics revised especially for the late princess.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Oh, brother: in another loss for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his brother Jo Johnson decided to quit parliament yesterday.
• Facebook is taking the heat yet again after the information of 400 millionusers was leaked.
• Michigan State University has been fined a record $4.5 million for failing to protect students from sexual abuse.
• As we approach the end of 2019, one of the most-anticipated year-end lists has arrived: Vanity Fair‘s best-dressed, featuring Jason Mamoa, Zendaya and national treasure, Celine Dion.
• Is Nicki Minaj ready to swap the mic for mama duties? Yesterday, the hip-hop star tweeted that she was retiring in order to “have [her] family.”
• Quality Catch
Not all heroes wear capes.