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✨ Good morning! Today is Thursday, July 25, 2019 and this doesn’t really make it sting any less, does it?
BULLETIN: HE SPEAKS
• The Background
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-anticipated testimony (which was more like a soap opera than a court hearing) is finally over. (Hallelujah.) More than 100 days since the release of his contentious report, detailing Russia’s attempt to interfere in the 2016 election, Mueller testified and took questions before the House Judiciary Committee in the morning and the House Intelligence Committee in the afternoon. The main takeaway from the six-hour-long day of grilling was Mueller’s dismissal of President Donald Trump’s claims of total exoneration in the federal probe. Mueller also insinuated that Trump could be charged with obstruction of justice after leaving office. ABC News
• What Else You Need to Know
Among the highlights of the testimony was Mueller’s condemnation of Trump’s problematic praise of WikiLeaks, which disseminated Democratic emails stolen by Russia. But perhaps more newsworthy than the questions Mueller answered were the questions he refused to respond to (82 of them, to be exact), which frustrated both Republicans (who wanted to discredit the probe) and Democrats (who eagerly want Trump impeached). Mueller was evidently reluctant to stray beyond his 448-page report, and therefore provided very few (if any) new revelations.
• What’s Next?
One thing Mueller was forthright about was reminding the panel why the investigation matters. He said his report is “a flag to those of us who have some responsibility in this area to exercise those responsibilities swiftly and don’t let this problem continue to linger as it has over so many years.”
• Loss of Life
Those of you who thought getting struck by lightning was simply a myth, listen up. An astounding 39 people were killed during a lightning storm in eastern India yesterday, where thousands were stranded on high ground. Monsoon season, which started in June, has claimed a total of 123 lives in the region as a result of lightning and flooding. Millions are suffering from the wild weather, and many have had their homes and crops crushed by surging waters. Global News
• World: Cabinet Crew
New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced his picks for the members of his cabinet. The list is lengthy, but Johnson has surrounded himself with a number of hard-line Brexiters, including Priti Patel, Dominic Raab and Steve Barclay. That said, a few people in the “Remainers” camp will also be joining the cabinet, including Ben Wallace and Alok Sharma. The Guardian
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I am very much alive.”
– The notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in response to concerns that her recent health issues could cause her to leave the Supreme Court. (Amen, sister!) CNN
• Privacy, Please!
A sweeping investigation by the Federal Trade Commission into Facebook’s mishandling of users’ private information has concluded with a US $5 billion settlement. The deal, which is the largest fine ever in FTC history, comes amid years of damaging cases against the company’s privacy practices (or lack thereof) — think Cambridge Analytica if you need an example. Thankfully, to help better protect its users, the company nominated Michel Protti to serve as chief privacy officer. CNN
• Safe Swiping
Dating app giant, Tinder, is taking steps to keep its users safe. It will now start warning any LGBTQ members when they’re in a region where it could be dangerous to swipe. The company partnered with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association to decide which countries still condemn same-sex relationships. LGBTQ users will no longer have their profiles appear automatically when they use the app in a region with discriminatory laws. CNN
📖👀🎧 THE WEEKEND PLAYLIST
Meet Me in Monaco by New York Times bestselling author, Hazel Gaynor, is a new must-read novel to add to your beach bag. It’s set in the 1950s against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco.
Quentin Tarantino’s star-studded film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, is hitting Canadian theatres tomorrow night.
• Desperate Times
We understand going to certain lengths to get a prospective lover’s attention. Sometimes a bold move is just what’s needed to get the ball rolling. But a 65-year-old man took things a little too far, after making a fake bomb threat in the hopes of winning a date with a flight attendant. The man’s call triggered a Lufthansa flight from Belgrade to Frankfurt to be evacuated prior to takeoff, forcing 130 passengers and five crew members to abruptly exit the aircraft. The man, who confessed to the hoax, is facing pending charges of causing panic and disorder. (Luckily it was only him that crashed and burned.) Sky News
• Wine & Dine
Today is National Wine & Cheese Day, because the delicious combination deserves its own day to be celebrated. In honour of the national holiday, here are 20 mouthwatering pictures of the dynamic duo (sorry not sorry).
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Costa Rica has issued a national alert and seized 30,000 bottles of liquor, after tainted alcohol killed 20 people.
• Textured breast implants made by Allergan have been recalled worldwide, after being linked to a rare cancer.
• London, Ont. swimmer, Maggie MacNeil, qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after finishing fifth at the world aquatics competition in South Korea.
• Blade Runner star Rutger Hauer died at 75 after a short illness.
• Classic sci-fi novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is making another move to the small screen.
• No Talk, Take-Out