This is a very taxing situation

The latest on the protests in Lebanon, Boris Johnson promises to deliver Brexit by Oct. 31 and everyone's favourite actress gets hitched.

This is a very taxing situation

The latest on the protests in Lebanon, Boris Johnson promises to deliver Brexit by Oct. 31 and everyone's favourite actress gets hitched.

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✨ Good morning! Today is Monday, October 21, 2019, and we’re reading this morning’s news right here. (No judgment, please.) 


• The Background

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of Lebanon for a four-day wave of protests, aimed at ousting the current government over an economic crisis. The riots, which were partially triggered by a plan to tax calls on WhatsApp and other messaging services, were Lebanon’s biggest protests in years, serving as a major show of public opposition against the establishment. In an attempt to quell the mass protests, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s coalition government agreed to a package of economic reforms yesterday. The Lebanese economy is faced with low growth and high debt, plus deteriorating infrastructure. NBC News

• What Else You Need to Know

The protests are somewhat of a social revolution — the demonstrations transcended not only sectarian lines, but also class and regional ones that have long characterized group divides in the country. Protestors were united by a common mission to oust the current Lebanese cabinet, which has failed to address the declining economy. The reform agreement encompasses plans to privatize key utilities, address the budget deficiency and reduce the salaries of politicians. It also outlines a strategy to privatize the telecommunications sector and overhaul the electricity sector, which continues to strain on the country’s finances.

• What’s Next?

The reform package is expected to be approved at a cabinet meeting today.


• Chaos in Chile

Speaking of mass protests, at least three people died amid demonstrations that erupted in the Chilean capital of Santiago, forcing President Sebastian Pinera to declare a state of emergency in the country. Riots and protests have been ongoing in Santiago and other Chilean cities, over an upsurge in public transportation fees. The demonstrations also led to the cancellation of flights operated by Chile’s biggest airlines, while public transportation was shut down and several businesses closed as the riots continued to wreak havoc. NBC News


• World: Another Extension

Despite yet another setback, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his government will push forward in trying to pass the latest Brexit deal, yet again. Johnson’s goal of winning a clear majority in parliament on Saturday failed after MPs backed a move to delay the deal’s approval. Despite the holdup, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says he’s confident enough that MPs will back the deal next week, and Brexit will still happen by the Oct. 31 deadline. BBC News


“Not many people have asked if I’m OK.”

– Duchess of Sussex (and honorary Canadian) Meghan Markle, opens up about what it’s been like to live under the scrutiny of the British press since marrying Prince Harry. (Hint: not easy.) ET Canada


• Staying Alive

Uber popular messaging app Kik has found itself a new home. On Friday, the company announced the it had been acquired by Los Angeles-based multimedia holding company, MediaLab. The acquisition is a big deal for Kik, as it’s been trying to find a lifeline amid an ongoing battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (Prior to this announcement, rumours were swirling that Kik would be forced to shut down.) The deal brings Kik into MediaLab’s app network, which now includes anonymous social network Whisper and mixtape app DatPiff. TechCrunch


• Baseball: And Then There Were Two…

It’s official: the Houston Astros are going back to the World Series. In an ultra dramatic finish on Saturday night, Astros’ second baseman Jose Altuve hit a walk-off home run in the ninth inning, giving the team another American League pennant and securing the team’s trip to the World Series for the second year in a row. The Astros will face off against the Washington Nationals, with game one set for Tuesday night at 8:08pm ET. USA Today


• A Married Law-dy

If there’s one celebrity wedding we’re upset we didn’t get invited to, it’s this one: Jennifer Lawrence married art dealer Cooke Maroney on Saturday. While security was super duper tight at the event (meaning paparazzi pictures are basically non-existent), we do know a few things about the lavish affair. Firstly, it took place at Rhode Island’s Belcourt of Newport mansion (which is apparently haunted). Secondly, it was a star-studded event, with JLaw’s besties Adele, Emma Stone and Amy Schumer on hand, as well as fashionable guests like Ashley Olsen, Nicole Richie and Sienna Miller. And lastly, while we haven’t seen the dress yet, we hear it was custom-designed by Dior. (Law-dee-dah!) People


• A Tight Ship

We have a cautionary tale for those of you who go to great lengths to snap a selfie. An unnamed woman on board a Royal Caribbean ship is proving that doing it for the ‘gram is not always worth it. In clear defiance of Royal Caribbean’s policy, the woman scaled the side of her room’s balcony railing to take a personal photoshoot overlooking the ocean, and was caught by another passenger who reported the incident to authorities. She was immediately removed from the vessel and banned for life by the cruise company. (Clearly, this ship has sailed.) CNN


• Too Close to Call 🇨🇦

Today is Election Day in Canada, so make sure to hit the polls for your final chance to vote. Still undecided? Our explainer may help you out. 


• Protestors in Hong Kong took to the streets again on Sunday for a pro-democracy rally, defying a police ban and sending the city into chaos. 

• Three U.S. soldiers were killed in a training accident over the weekend in Fort Stewart, Georgia.

• Johnson & Johnson is voluntarily recalling one lot of its baby powder due to low levels of asbestos contamination.

• After saying Trump National in Doral, Florida, would host the G7 economic summit in 2020, POTUS backtracked on Saturday, saying the search for a new venue would start immediately. 

• Another Canadian tennis player is a champion. Denis Shapovalov won his first ATP Tour yesterday, taking the title at the Stockholm Open. 


• Right Side of the Tracks

This kinda makes the rats and the smell of urine worth it, no?

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Feature image by isafmediaFlickr: 120528-N-TR360-003, CC BY 2.0, Link