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✨ Good morning! Today is Friday, October 4, 2019, and we just don’t understand this call.
BULLETIN: GUILTY AS CHARGED
• The Background
The St. Michael’s College School sexual assault scandal that gripped the country last year is resurfacing, after three teenagers facing charges pleaded guilty. The three suspects pleaded guilty to sexual assault with a weapon and assault with a weapon, and one of the three has also been charged with distributing child pornography. Eight students were expelled for participating in the sexual assault of another student, and seven were charged with sexual assault, gang sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon. Charges were dropped against one teenager in August, and the cases against two others have concluded but the outcomes have not yet been revealed. CTV News
• What Else You Need to Know
The prestigious all-boys school in Toronto dominated Canadian headlines just under a year ago, after it was reported that three teens held down their football teammate, pulled down his pants, smacked him and penetrated him with a broom several times. The deeply disturbing assault was captured on video, which has since been deleted at the request of the victim. Less than a month after the first incident, a second assault occurred, where another teen was victimized, as the perpetrators ripped off his clothes, tore his underwear apart and sexually assaulted him with a broom.
• What’s Next?
The teenagers cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and the school declined to comment. One more student facing charges has a court hearing on Oct. 17, and the others are scheduled for a sentencing hearing in November.
• Police Perpetrator
Tragedy struck at police headquarters in the centre of Paris, when one employee attacked and killed three officers and one administrative worker with a knife. The suspect, whose named has not yet been revealed, was shot and killed by police. The attack comes one day after police went on strike over an upsurge in violence toward officers. Though the motive is not completely clear, officials say a workplace dispute was likely at the centre of the attack. BBC News
🇨🇦 CANADA VOTES 2019
From now until Oct. 21, we’ll be bringing you all the updates from the campaign trail (including who’s making promises and who’s breaking ’em).
• Last night, 100 debates were held across the country where candidates could discuss the environment, and what each party plans to do about climate change.
• Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer finally voiced his opinion on abortion (he’s pro-life) but promised not to re-open the debate. It was also revealed yesterday that Scheer holds dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship — an issue he heckled former governor-general Michaëlle Jean about in 2005.
• The Liberals are standing behind medically assisted dying, and are promising to expand Canadians’ eligibility should they be re-elected.
• World: Chaos in the Capital
Baghdad is in turmoil, following a week of anti-government protests, which left at least 21 dead, and hundreds more wounded. Iraqi security forces have cut off internet access across the country, enforced around-the-clock curfews, and fired live rounds and tear gas in an attempt to quell the demonstrations. The protests were spurred by economic woes, disenchanted youth dealing with unemployment, lack of services and government corruption. NBC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“China should start an investigation into the Bidens. Because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.”
– President Donald Trump, urging China to investigate the Bidens in defiance of impeachment proceedings that were sparked by him putting the same kind of pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Politico
• Help to Heel
In a landmark settlement, MGM Resorts International has agreed to pay up to US $800 million to victims of the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and injured hundreds more. Though MGM has agreed to settle the lawsuits, the company also said it’s not an admission of liability in what was the worst shooting in modern American history. CNN
• A Common Thread
The term “hanging by a thread” just got a whole new meaning. After much speculation, Instagram is officially rolling out a messaging app, called “Threads,” a platform that makes chatting with your closest pals a lot easier. The new app is a direct companion for Instagram, letting you share texts, photos and videos with your “close friends” list. The three main features of Threads are: the camera, the inbox (which looks like Instagram DMs but only for your close friends) and finally, the status screen, where you can indicate your status. (Think back to your MSN Messenger days.) The Verge
• De Nir-Oh Sh*t
Robert De Niro is being sued for alleged gender discrimination and fostering an abusive work environment for women. The US $12-million lawsuit was filed by an ex-executive assistant, Graham Chase Robinson, who claimed De Niro used sexist language, referring to her as his “office wife” and calling other female employees the C-word. De Niro’s company filed a US $6-million lawsuit against Robinson back in August, alleging that she stole money and binge-watched Netflix while at work. (Um, is that a crime?) A representative for De Niro responded to the claims, calling them “beyond absurd.” Variety
• Whale Watch
TripAdvisor is beefing up its animal welfare policy, and will no longer sell tickets to attractions that breed, import or capture whales, dolphins, porpoises or other marine mammals. Tickets to events at SeaWorld, the Georgia Aquarium and other famous marine-based amusement parks worldwide will be banned from TripAdvisor. The move highlights heightened concerns over animal tourism and animal welfare, and comes one year after TripAdvisor banned sales of tickets to performances considered demeaning to animals. New York Times
• Unholy Matrimony
Anyone who watches the Handmaid’s Tale or has read Margaret Atwood’s novel knows it’s full of violent, dystopian and sexist themes. Let’s just say, there’s very little romance and happiness in the show. But a couple in Cambridge is challenging that idea, after choosing to make the Handmaid’s Tale the theme of their wedding. Their wedding photographer posted a picture of their happy(?) day online and it quickly went viral. Thousands of comments and retweets all echoed the same horror and utter confusion: “Ah yes, the romance only a totalitarian misogynistic regime can bring.” Amen. BlogTO
• Animal Appreciation
Whether you’re a dog person, a cat person, a bunny person, or somewhere in between, give your animals some extra love today because it’s World Animal Day.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Oops! Yesterday we reported that Trump signed a $1.8-million autism funding bill — but we meant $1.8 billion. (Even better!)
• Check your fridge: There’s a recall warning for 50 imported chicken products due to a possible Listeria contamination. And to add to your worries, a Toronto meat packer is recalling beef and veal products over possible E. Coli contamination.
• Canadian tennis player Bianca Andreescu (otherwise known as Queen of the North) won her 17th straight game, and is set to face Naomi Osaka in the Beijing quarter-finals.
• Uber has officially launched a shift-work-finding app in Chicago, working in partnership with staffing agencies.
• Sesame Street has found a new home: HBO Max has scored exclusive access to new episodes.
• Enigmatic artist, Banksy, has sold his “Developed Parliament” painting for a record-breaking US $12.2 million
• The Cat Came Back
The irony is almost too much.