The west wasn’t won

The political divide widens in western Canada, Google’s quantum computer wiz, and a new study that could prove "frootful" in mental health treatment.

The west wasn’t won

The political divide widens in western Canada, Google’s quantum computer wiz, and a new study that could prove "frootful" in mental health treatment.

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✨ Good morning! Today is Thursday, October 24, 2019, and we’re taking a few extra quiet moments in the ladies’ room today


• The Background

After taking a day away from the spotlight, Canada’s newly re-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made some big announcements. While addressing the media in Ottawa, the PM said he plans to swear in his new gender-balanced cabinet on November 20 that will lead the Liberal party through the 43rd Parliamentary session. Most importantly, Trudeau toppled theories that the Liberals would form a coalition with another party (most likely the NDP). While the Prime Minister firmly said he has no plans to form a formal or informal collation, he vowed to “sit down with all party leaders in the coming weeks to talk about their priorities about how we can work together to respond to the preoccupations that Canadians have.” CTV News

• What Else You Need to Know

Speaking of preoccupations, demands for a so-called “Wexit” (Western Canada’s take on Brexit) have begun, with many Alberta residents calling for separation from Canada. The Liberals did not win a single seat in Alberta or Saskatchewan, which is not a total surprise given that the two provinces are traditionally very conservative. “Wexit” began trending on social media after Trudeau was re-elected, mainly spurred by frustrated voters who want the federal carbon tax cancelled and the pipeline built. While Trudeau has promised to address the West’s frustrations, residents say it’s too little too late.

• What’s Next?

On that note, Trudeau says tax cuts to personal income will be his first order of business. 


• Torrential Trouble

Blinding rain plagued the Egyptian capital of Cairo and other parts of the country yesterday, triggering massive floods that claimed the lives of at least eight people, including four children. The flooding also caused severe traffic jams. Schools, universities and workplaces were closed in the greater Cairo area as cars and people became submerged in flood water. The region received at least 650,000 cubic meters of precipitation in only 90 minutes, which completely overwhelmed Cairo’s sewage system. Unfortunately, the bad weather is expected to continue today and schools will likely remain closed. Washington Post 


• U.S.: Mean About Green

U.S. President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against the state of California, and Quebec is caught in the crossfire. The Golden State signed a cap-and-trade agreement, designed to reduce emissions, with La Belle Province back in 2013. But now, U.S. federal politicians are saying that it was out of bounds for a state government to negotiate with an international party. This is not the first time Trump has interfered with California’s environmental protection policies, leading some to believe the president has a vendetta against the left-leaning state. (Ya think?) CBC News

• World: Trial Period

Some good news for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. A controversial extradition bill that sparked months of unrest has been officially withdrawn from the region’s legislative assembly. The bill would have permitted China to extradite criminal suspects from Hong Kong to the Communist-controlled mainland for trial. Many Hong Kong citizens saw the bill as an attempt by Chinese officials to erode their freedoms and rights, resulting in protests that have grown increasingly violent over the last 20 weeks. Activists believe the issue was grossly mishandled, and have planned additional protests for the coming week. ABC News 


“This was an outcome created by us, the United States, and nobody else.”

– President Donald Trump, taking credit for a permanent ceasefire in Syria, and agreeing to drop sanctions against Turkey. New York Times 


• Congressionally Cryptic

Mark Zuckerberg is in hot water, again, this time facing off with lawmakers from the House Committee on Financial Services. While the hearing was meant to question the CEO over his plans for Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, the reps on Capitol Hill took the opportunity to grill him on past offences like election interference and the proliferation of fake news. In his defense, Zuckerberg reiterated his commitment to free speech on the social media platform, and characterized Libra as a modern complement to the current financial system, particularly for the underprivilegedABC News 


• Full Speed Ahead

What’s faster than fast, and quicker than quick? According to Google, its a new quantum computer that performed a three-minute calculation that would have taken a traditional computer over 10,000 years. (Yep, that’s quick). The feat, termed “quantum supremacy,” is already facing skepticism from the search giant’s computing peers. IBM researchers believe that Google may have exaggerated a wee bit, claiming that their own Summit computer could have done the same calculation in less than three days. (Three days, 10,000 years…potato, po-tah-to.) NBC News 


• Catch and Release

Ronan Farrow, an award-winning journalist and the author of the explosive new best-selling novel, Catch and Kill, is officially releasing a podcast offshoot of the scandalous book. “The Catch and Kill Podcast With Ronan Farrow” will showcase new material and his interviews into allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer. The podcast also promises to share interviews with those who tried to stop the stories from becoming public, such as Igor Ostrovskiy, who was initially hired to spy on Farrow but later became an ally. The limited-series podcast is set to premiere in November. Variety


• Read

If you’re looking to take the edge off the never-ending drama unfolding in the White House, check out Dumpty: The Age of Trump in Verse. Written by award-winning actor and bestselling author John Lithgow, the book of poetry chronicles Donald Trump’s wild (and frankly, comical) presidency.

• Watch

Comedian and actor Eddie Murphy is making a major comeback with his new movie, Dolemite Is My Name, which will be available on Netflix starting tomorrow.

• Listen

Selena Gomez’s new heartbreak anthem is stirring up rumours that it’s inspired by none other than former flame Justin Bieber. Plus, Kanye West’s long-awaited “Jesus Is King” album is finally coming out tomorrow. 


• Rat Race

If it’s good enough for Toucan Sam, it’s good enough for rats. In a recent study, scientists trained a group of rats to steer their own tiny cars in exchange for an exceptional reward: Froot Loops. (Stuart Little could drive a car so this makes total sense). Teaching the rats to drive the ROV (rat-operated vehicle) is adorable (and hilarious), but the study could actually advance human mental health treatment. Careful examination of the poop of rats who were trained to drive the ROV showed they secreted higher levels of corticosterone and DHEA — hormones that help control stress — demonstrating that being mentally stimulated can improve emotional resilience. This could have implications for humans since rodent brains are simply a smaller version of human brains (and let’s be honest, our brains crave sugary cereal, too). CNN 


• OVO Day

Drake — Canadian singer, rapper and icon — turns 33 today, and it looks like the  superstar got himself some custom-made birthday bling in honour of his favourite team.


• European leaders are expected to grant (another) Brexit delay, extending the deadline to January 31. 

• Californians are bracing for another blackout, as the state’s largest utility began a second intentional shutdown to protect against wildfires.

• The notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg won the $1-million Berggruen Prize for Philosophy & Culture for her contributions to social justice and general equality.


• We’re Sold

Sometimes, you just gotta take the good with the bad.

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