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✨ Good morning! Today is Thursday, August 1, 2019, and just in case our Democratic debate explainers haven’t been good enough, there’s this.
BULLETIN: NIGHTMARE NURSE
• The Background
Though she’s been MIA in headlines over the last little while, the name Elizabeth Wettlaufer should still ring a bell (or trigger nightmares). She’s the serial-killer nurse who injected eight patients with lethal levels of insulin and tried to kill four others while she was employed at a long-term care facility in Woodstock, Ont., and another care home in London, Ont. A final inquiry was released yesterday, which investigated the crimes and compiled 10 weeks of testimony. The final verdict is chilling: Wettlaufer would have continued murdering her senior patients and, if not for her own confession, she wouldn’t have been caught doing it. CBC News
• What Else You Need to Know
The four-volume report drew some disturbing conclusions, including that “systemic vulnerabilities” in Ontario’s long-term care system allowed Wettlaufer to carry out her attacks. The nurse was never suspended from her job despite multiple serious medical errors, and was only warned of her wrongdoing. The report cites that Ontario must increase its funding and staff at nursing homes, as well as reduce the use of temporary agency nurses, in order to prevent future medical misdemeanour. (That’s quite the euphemism.)
• What’s Next?
There are a total of 91 recommendations outlined in the report, mainly focusing on how to better prevent and detect health-care serial killers. The government will review the recommendations and deliver an update within the next year. Wettlaufer is serving a life sentence in prison (where she belongs).
• Chaos and Carnage
Violence is on the rise in Afghanistan, after a roadside bombing in the province of Farah killed at least 35 people and injured another 27. The bomb was detonated by a bus, which was travelling on a road linking the cities of Herat and Kandahar and was carrying mostly women and children. While no one has claimed responsibility for the explosion, officials believe the bomb was planted by members of the Taliban to attack domestic and foreign security forces. CBC News
• U.S.: Battling Biden
The second Democratic debate is officially over. Like on Tuesday night, yesterday’s debate started with a segment on health care, followed by immigration, criminal justice reform, gender pay gap and climate change. Through all of it, Joe Biden (who hogged the most air time) remained the focal point of attacks, taking the heat from Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Bill de Blasio and Julián Castro. The issue of whether or not President Trump should be impeached also came up, though candidates were evidently divided on the matter. The next round of Democratic debates will start on September 12th. CNN
• World: Dwelling Dispute
In a rare move, Israel has agreed to a construction project on the West Bank that would provide homes for both Jewish and Palestinian groups. The specifics, however, remain unclear. Technically, Israeli settlements in the area are prohibited under international law, and the approval for the Palestinian homes might just be lip service; a rubber-stamping for buildings that already exist. Given the circumstances, Palestinian officials are (unsurprisingly) not too impressed with the announcement. BBC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“For too long, American patients have been paying exorbitantly high prices for prescription drugs that are made available in other countries at lower prices.”
– U.S. health and human services secretary, Alex Azar, announced the Trump administration will set up a system allowing Americans to legally import prescription drugs from Canada, undercutting a longstanding ban in the pharmaceutical industry. CTV News
• The Low Down
The U.S. Federal Reserve has announced an interest rate cut, shaving the number down by a quarter-point to 2.25% in an attempt to stall the impact of an economic slowdown on the country. There’s some discussion as to whether this was necessary at all; Jerome Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve has admitted that the markets are doing well and unemployment rates are down. But what the president wants, the president gets: Trump has been pressuring the board for months to maintain low rates to stay competitive in the global economy. NBC News
• Saving Us From Ourselves
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced a new code designed to protect Canadians from the heart-stopping shock of data overage bills. (We’ve all been there. 🙄) Starting Jan. 31, 2020, internet service providers (ISPs) must provide alerts to customers who are at risk of going over their data limits, with notifications when they’ve used up 75%, 90% and 100% of their data. The code will also require that their agreements and policies are written in easy-to-understand, plain language, so you’ll no longer need a lawyer before signing a contract with a new ISP. MobileSyrup
• Lingerie Letdown
The iconic Victoria’s Secret fashion show reportedly has been cancelled, after the show suffered from dwindling ratings in recent years. Model Shanina Shaik told Australia’s Daily Telegraph the show has been cancelled, as the company is trying to focus on rebranding and finding new ways to do the show. The cancellation comes amid other news that the disgraced billionaire, Jeffrey Epstein, used Leslie Wexner (who owns Victoria’s Secret) to gain access to women. Allure
📖👀🎧 THE WEEKEND PLAYLIST
As writers ourselves, we’re excited about the new book Semicolon, by Cecelia Watson. It’s a quirky biography about the controversial punctuation mark and a guide to grammar, which has already received tremendous praise.
The latest iteration of the Fast & Furious franchise — Shaw & Hobbes — is coming to Canadian theatres starting tomorrow.
Goop just launched a clean beauty podcast, covering everything from how to spot toxic ingredients to the most essential beauty products everyone needs to know about.
• When Nature Calls…
Maybe she really had to go? A Pennsylvania woman has turned herself in to authorities after being caught on tape peeing in a bin of potatoes at a local Walmart. Store employees noticed a suspicious-looking puddle on the floor by the produce and after checking the security footage, they contacted police. According to the district attorney’s office, the woman will be charged with criminal mischief, open lewdness, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. (Just a wee wee bit of trouble.) Time
• Saluting the Swiss
Today is Switzerland’s Independence Day, a national holiday to commemorate the country’s confederacy. So let’s celebrate our Swiss friends by eating lots of chocolate and cheese (’cause, why not?)
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• A second death in the Ebola crisis has been confirmed in the city of Goma.
• U.S. officials say Osama bin Laden’s son, Hamza, is dead, after being killed in an American-led operation. The details of his death are still not public.
• Life lesson: don’t drink on the job, especially if you fly planes for a living. A Delta pilot was removed from a boarded plane and arrested after allegedly failing a sobriety test.
• Major retailers, including Amazon, Ikea and Walmart are being sued by the University of California Santa Barbara for violating patents on LED light bulbs.
• The Woodstock 50 Festival has been cancelled, following a series of obstacles and adversity.
• Muggle Problems
We love Harry Potter, too, but this is seriously questionable.