✨ Good morning! Today is Wednesday, July 3, 2019, and here’s further proof that this is the best place on Earth.
BULLETIN: FEELIN’ HOT, HOT, HOT
• The Background
We’ve got bad news for climate change deniers (and worse news for those who are already worried about the planet): A new study from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service found that the month of June was the hottest ever recorded in Europe. (Yes, ever.) The average temperature was 2°C above normal, likely caused by “a mass of hot air coming from the Sahara desert.” The last five days of the month were actually the hottest, with temperatures 6° to 10° C above normal for most of France and Germany, northern Spain, northern Italy, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic. Global News
• What Else You Need to Know
And it wasn’t just Europe that was feeling the heat: the global average temperature for June 2019 was also the highest on record for the month. (A heat wave in northern California’s Bodega Bay caused thousands of mussels to fry to death in their shells.) The global average was about 0.1°C higher than June 2016, which previously held the record for the hottest June in history (thanks to a particularly strong El Niño event). The good news is that spikes in European average June temperatures of more than 1°C above normal have occurred several times throughout history (1901, 1917 and 1999).
• What’s Next?
Though the report specifically notes that “it is difficult to directly attribute the heat wave to climate change,” we should be prepared for more “extreme weather events,” all thanks to a warming planet (which FYI, is thanks to increased greenhouse gas concentrations). A recent study conducted by the University of Hawaii found that by 2100, 75% of the world’s population will be faced with “deadly heatwaves.”
• Monsoon Madness
At least four walls in Mumbai, India came crumbling down in the wake of severe monsoon rains. The walls collapsed onto huts and city shanties, leaving at least 31 people dead and dozens more injured. Deathly wall collapses are not uncommon during India’s monsoon season, which brings heavy rain from June to September. The rain also caused flooding, waterlogged train tracks and damage to the already weak infrastructure in the region. The rainfall was the city’s heaviest in 10 years and the second-highest in 44 years, and forecasters are warning that more rain is on the way. CBC News
• U.S.: Get Up, Stand Up
In a shocking show of support, a group of three dozen prominent Republican figures filed a brief in favour of LGBT rights. More than 2,000 signatories — ranging from businesses, members of Congress, advocacy groups, and well-known Republicans (yes, you read that right) — submitted 50 briefs to the Supreme Court in three pending cases involving LGBTQ rights in the workplace over the last week. The cases in question consider whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, also prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ people. The overwhelming support from companies and individuals on both sides of the political spectrum demonstrates that Americans overwhelmingly believe discrimination against LGBTQ people should be encompassed in the Civil Rights Act. The cases, which the high court agreed to hear when it returns from summer recess, will likely set the stage for how the court’s conservative majority will tackle matters involving LGBTQ rights. New York Times
• World: First Ladies
In a historic nomination, Germany’s Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen was nominated by EU leaders to be the next EU Commission chief. This marks the first time a woman has ever been up for the role, and the decision was backed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel herself. Von der Leyen will replace Jean-Claude Juncker after the central front-runners were rejected. In another historic nomination, International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde was nominated as the first female to lead the European Central Bank. (Yasss, girls!) BBC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I think the reason all of these women ran is because they weren’t going to accept a nation where Trump’s views of the world would prevail.”
– U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, on why so many women ran for office in the 2018 midterm election — and why so many women are running for president in 2020. Vogue
• The Big Brew
The biggest IPO of the year is on its way. Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), a.k.a. the world’s biggest brewer, is aiming to raise US $9.8 billion when it lists its Asia business on July 19 in Hong Kong. Anheuser-Busch InBev owns Budweiser Brewing Company APAC, which in Asia, is the largest brewer by retail sales. The company will offer 1.63 billion shares for between 40 and 47 HK dollars (US $5.13 to $6.02), which would raise between $8.3 billion and $9.8 billion for Bud Light, Beck’s and Stella Artois. So far this year, the biggest IPO has been Uber, which raised $8.1 billion. The brewer would likely use the funds to pay off some of its massive debt load. CNN
• Chatty Cathy
It’s now even easier to talk your friends about your fashion choices. Instagram just unleashed its latest feature, which allows users to join conversations directly in Instagram Stories. All you have to do is add the new “Chat” sticker type to your Story, and followers can simply tap to request to join an Instagram group DM conversation that is attached to the post. But have no fear, you won’t be forced to talk to just anyone about your meal: The original poster will be able to filter through and approve those they wish to add to the group discussion. TechCrunch
• Cash Cab Comeback
Cash Cab is the game show that just keeps on giving. For the third time, the show is being resurrected, after its two-year run in 2017 and its initial run from 2005 to 2012. This time, the show is being revived by Bravo, which vowed comedian Ben Bailey will continue on as the show’s host. The newest iteration of Cash Cab will feature an upgraded car and more questions about pop culture. This is the second aughts revival on Bravo’s schedule — the network recently announced that it was bringing back Blind Date. Variety
• This Is Pooposterous
A Wisconsin man is in deep doo doo (literally) after repeatedly clogging women’s toilets. Believe it or not, the consequence for such acts is a sentence of 150 days in jail. Patrick Beeman, the 35-year-old responsible for the toilet clogging, pleaded no contest to five counts of misdemeanour criminal charge to property. And it’s not just poop that’s causing the clogs; officials say the man gets strange urges to place miscellaneous objects in toilets, causing them to overflow. The man received 30 days for each count, totalling to 150 days in jail, as well as three years of probation and a fine of US $5,500. Hopefully he’ll can his urges while behind bars. Associated Press
• Ongoing Feud
Today marks 31 years since Iran Air Flight 655 was shot down by a U.S. navy ship, killing all 290 people on board. Iran sued the U.S. for the tragedy, reaching a $131.8-million settlement. The incident is just one of the many conflicts between the two countries, who are currently clashing.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Fourteen Russian sailors are dead after a fire ripped through a Navy nuclear mini-submarine.
• Saskatchewan’s lieutenant-governor, W. Thomas Molloy, died yesterday after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
• Russian-Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov was ousted in the opening round at Wimbledon, along with fellow Canadians Brayden Schnur and Eugenie Bouchard.
• L.A. Angels pitcher Tyler Skagg was found dead in his hotel room in Southlake, Texas, on Monday. He was just 27 years old.
• Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic book series is being adapted for the small screen in a “massive deal” with Netflix and Warner Bros.
• In more sad news, auto industry icon Lee Iacocca (a.k.a. the rather of the Ford Mustang) has passed away at the age of 94.
• What’s In a Name?
When the president confuses his national security advisor with an ’80s pop icon (repeatedly).