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✨ Good morning! Today is Friday, April 12, 2019 and this is the SNL reunion we’ve been waiting for. 🙏🏼
BULLETIN: POWER GRAB
• The Background
After months of protests, the citizens of Sudan have finally gotten their wish: President Omar al-Bashir has been arrested and ousted from power. And he wasn’t the only one: Prime Minister Mohamed Taher Ayala and the head of the ruling National Congress Party, Ahmed Haroun, were among dozens of officials who were also arrested. Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf made the announcement yesterday, sharing that the military would be taking control of the northeastern African country for two years to oversee a transition of power. It was (almost) everything the people had been hoping for — while some flooded the streets in celebration, others encouraged protestors to continue until “power is handed over to a civilian transitional government.” CNN
• What Else You Need to Know
Bashir is now on house arrest, after being accused of ethnic cleansing in Darfur; he faces five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes. Along with Bashir, the president’s cabinet, the country’s National Assembly and its municipal bodies have all been dissolved. However, the judiciary, public prosecution, embassies and diplomatic entities will all continue to operate as normal. Ibn Auf also announced that all 3,000 prisoners that had been arrested during the protests would be released.
• What’s Next?
In addition to the two years of military rule, the country’s declared a three-month state of emergency, a one-month curfew from 10pm to 4am, all airspace and crossings to be closed for 24 hours and all medical facilities will be secured. The UN also plans to discuss the situation this morning in a closed-door meeting.
• Blowing the Whistle on the Whistleblower
The mastermind behind WikiLeaks is behind bars. Julian Assange, an Australian national and notorious hacker, was arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he’s been staying for the past seven years. Assange sought refuge in 2012, amid rape allegations in Sweden (which he denied). He’s now facing up to 12 months in prison for skipping out on bail. The U.S. Justice Department says Assange also faces up to five years in jail for conspiring in 2010 with Chelsea Manning, former U.S. Army Intelligence analyst, in one of the largest leaks of government secrets. They acquired classified information on Department of Defence computers and disclosed more than 700,000 confidential documents, videos and diplomatic cables. Also noteworthy: apparently two reasons the Ecuadorian Embassy gave Assange the boot included his inability to clean up after himself in the bathroom and his failure to properly care for his cat. (Talk about an ungracious guest.) BBC News
• U.S.: Deep Probe
It’s no longer just Republicans swimming in murky legal waters. Greg Craig, former White House counsel during the Obama administration, has been charged with making false statements and concealing material information regarding work he performed for Ukraine in 2012, according to an investigation that stemmed from the Mueller probe. (We have a feeling that smoke spreads a long way.🙄) The case originated as an investigation into Craig over an alleged Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) violation. The indictment says Craig didn’t want to register as an agent for Ukraine lest it prevent him from working for the federal government in the future. Craig’s former firm, Skadden, has since been required to fork over $4.6 million earned for its work in Ukraine and to register as a foreign agent. Craig is the second agent from the firm to face such charges. CNN
• World: Moment in Time
In a momentous ruling, South Korea’s highest court finally lifted an age-old ban on abortions. The constitutional court demanded that the law be amended by 2020, marking a huge triumph for pro-choice campaigners. The ban was initially instated in 1953, and under the current law, women who get abortions can be fined and imprisoned (except in the case of rape, incest, or severe genetic disorders). Doctors who illegally perform the procedure also face jail time. “The abortion ban limits women’s rights to pursue their own destinies,” the court said in a statement. Seoul is celebrating — and we are, too. The Guardian
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us.”
– Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, encouraging fellow retailers to match his company’s $15 minimum wage and impressive employee benefits. CBC News
• Tinder Takeover
Netflix is no longer queen of the (Apple) castle. Tinder has taken its place as the top-grossing non-game app, showing the world we’re not just bored, but lonely, too. It’s the first time in years that Netflix hasn’t reigned supreme, but the shift doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Last December, the streaming giant decided to stop paying the “Apple tax” which allows users to sign up and subscribe to its service through its iOS (or Android) apps. Without that integration, anyone wanting to stream on-the-go (or while tucked into bed) has to sign up through Netflix’s website first. (Convenience is not its middle name.) App store IT firm Sensor Tower estimates that Netflix is down 15% in Q1 2019 while Tinder’s revenue is up 42%. TechCrunch
Not So Social Network
In LinkedIn’s latest effort to sit at the cool kids’ table, the business-oriented social networking site has added business-friendly “reactions” that are just like Facebook’s but office-appropriate. Your professional network can now Like or Love your posts and hit Celebrate when you land that big promotion, Insightful when you share your daily Ghandi quote, or Curious when you publish a link to the latest article on workplace culture that is also secretly begging your boss to give you the office with windows. (Just saying.) Now, we know you’ll all be rushing to LinkedIn to Love your favourite coworker’s latest post, but they won’t be available worldwide for another few months. For now, you’ll have to stick with sending them that generic “Congrats!” that everyone knows is typed with less enthusiasm than it implies. Engadget
• Hockey: Going for Gold
The Canadian women’s hockey team eased by the Germans in the quarter-finals of the women’s world championships with a final score of 5–0. (They don’t call us the True North for nothing.) Blayre Turnbull scored two of the five goals out of 66 shots on Germany’s net in the first Canada vs. Germany match in over a decade, with Brianne Jenner, Natalie Spooner, and Laura Stacey also scoring to bring the game home. The last time the two teams faced off was in 2007, where Canada also won 8–0. Canada is now set to face off against host Finland in Saturday’s semi-finals, with Russia and the U.S. also squaring off. The winners will play for gold while the losers will compete for bronze on Sunday. (We don’t mean to sound cocky, but we’re pretty sure we’ve got this in the bag. 💅) CBC News
• NHL: Playoffs Update 🇨🇦
↳ The St. Louis Blues beat the Winnipeg Jets, 2–1. Game two is tonight at 9:30pm ET.
↳ The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 4–1. Game two is tomorrow night at 8pm ET.
↳ The Calgary Flames beat the Colorado Avalanche 2–0. Game two is tomorrow night at 10:30pm ET.
• The Last of the Remakes?
In the era of remakes (🙄), The Last of the Mohicans is getting new life in the form of a TV series. Watchmen director Nicole Kassell and writers Cary Joji Fukunaga and Nicholas Osborne are bringing James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 novel to screen, which portrays a love story during the Seven Years War. “It was a world war before the term even existed,” said Fukanaga. “Together with Paramount TV and Anonymous Content, we have the chance to revive the forgotten ancestors that define American identity today.” The new series will be one of many previous adaptations of the novel, the most well-known being the 1992 film starring Daniel Day-Lewis as main character Nathaniel Poe. Variety
• Let’s Hear It for the Boys
Leave it to a group of teens boys to remind us that human kindness is still a thing. Five Idaho boys were driving to go play basketball when they noticed an elderly man had fallen on the sidewalk. They immediately hit the brakes, hopped out of the car and ran to help the ailing man. Not only did they get him back on his feet, but they also walked him home and cared for his injuries. A woman witnessed the act of kindness from across the street, snapped some pictures and posted them on Facebook. Of course, the internet’s swooning over these do-good dudes. MSN
• Charlotte’s Web
This is the story of how one driver’s joyride quickly turned into a truly tragic tale. While cruising along in Cairo, New York, a poor woman noticed an unwelcome passenger in her front seat: a big, bad spider. So, she did what any rational, normal human being would do: she panicked and crashed her car into a tree. Not only did she crash, but she actually totalled her vehicle and injured both her legs. Police posted the evidence online to warn other arachnophobic drivers against suffering a similar fate, but instead of sympathy, the post elicited a whole lot of jokes, including our personal favourite: “She could have wound up a black widow.” (Ba dum ching!) BuzzFeed News
• Lost in Space
On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into outer space and perform the first manned orbital flight, beating the U.S. to the punch.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• More than 140 million Indians started their trek to the polls yesterday in the world’s largest vote in history.
• Michael Avenatti is in even more trouble. The lawyer was indicted yesterday in California on another 36 counts.
• Canada is finally getting its own Chick-fil-A: the chain’s first international location is set to open this summer in Toronto.
• For those who don’t remember, before Rebecca Pearason was Mandy Moore; she was a pop singer — and apparently she’s finally making more music.
• Prince Harry’s been busy. In addition to announcing a new series partnership with Oprah, the Duke of Sussex shared that him and Meghan will break royal tradition and keep the birth of their baby private.
• Winter is Coming
Jon Snow may know nothing, but James Corden knows everything.