Toronto's our only hope now

Bombings ravage Sri Lanka, Ukraine has a new president and rising water levels force evacuations on the East Coast.

Toronto's our only hope now

Bombings ravage Sri Lanka, Ukraine has a new president and rising water levels force evacuations on the East Coast.

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✨  Good morning! Today is Monday, April 22, 2019 and we’re awaiting the influencer meltdowns in 3, 2, 1…


• The Background

Yesterday, in what many have called an “attack on Christianity,” a series of bomb attacks in Sri Lanka left more than 290 people dead (including at least 27 foreigners) and hundreds more injured. The eight coordinated blasts targeted churches and luxury hotels in or near the capital of Colombo on Easter Sunday. Sri Lankan Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardena said the attacks were terrorism-related and were conducted by religious extremists; in fact, just hours after the blasts, 13 suspects had been arrested, though no organization has claimed responsibility. CTV News

• What Else You Need to Know

In the aftermath of the blasts, Sri Lankan authorities blocked Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber, and YouTube, and implemented a strict curfew across the country. According to presidential advisor Harindra Dassanayake, the ban was a “unilateral decision” and was done to prevent the spread of “misinformation, hate speech, and violence.” There’s no word on when the ban will be lifted. 

• What’s Next?

The country’s tourism board requested that all hotels take “maximum measures to strengthen security.” Other countries are also monitoring the situation, though there doesn’t seem to be any other active threats. 


• Rising Tides

While the rising temperatures are a welcome change for most, they’re bringing some unwelcome side effects for residents of Quebec and New Brunswick. Over the weekend, at least 1,000 homes were flooded by the Chaudière River in southern Quebec, which was rising by about 20 to 25 centimetres every hour. The waters forced evacuations in communities like Sainte-Marie (just south of Quebec City) and the deployment of approximately 600 troops, who worked all weekend in Laval, Gatineau and in Trois-Rivière to protect the town’s water filtration plant from flood waters and contamination. In New Brunswick, Maugerville, Jemseg, Sheffield, Lakeville Corner and Fredericton are all being affected by rising water levels in the St. John River. At least 120 troops have been deployed to the area to help with sandbag high-risk areas and check on residents. 


• U.S.: Mouthing Off

The Mueller report has been released… now what? Well, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani is thoroughly unimpressed with the findings, claiming that the team behind the report tried to frame Trump, calling one Mueller ally a hitman and accusing others of resorting to torture-like tactics. And getting info from the Russians? No biggie, according to Giuliani. (We have a feeling there’s quite a few people that might beg to differ.) Because the report didn’t clear the president of obstruction of justice, some Democrats are considering impeachment, although they’re unlikely to succeed, since the Republican-controlled Senate is almost guaranteed to block it. That’s good news for Trump, especially considering his approval rating is down to its lowest of the year — 37% — since the report was released. The Guardian

• World: This Is No Joke

Ukraine officially has a new president — and he has absolutely no political experience. In a true act of life imitating art, television comedian Volodymyr Zelensky declared victory in the country’s election after incumbent (and chocolate magnate) Petro Poroshenko conceded defeat. (ICYMI, Zelensky gained fame on a show called Servant of the People, where he played a schoolteacher who unexpectedly becomes president. We can’t make this sh*t up.) The win was a big one for the political newcomer: Exit polls showed Zelensky taking almost 75% of the vote. Poroshenko tweeted that he accepted the decision of the Ukrainian people and would leave office in May, but that he doesn’t plan on leaving politics. CNN


“Canadians deserve freedom, not forgiveness.”

Seth Rogen joins the Cannabis Amnesty campaign calling on the Canadian government to expunge the criminal records of those previously convicted of pot possession, rather than simply offering pardons. CTV News


• There’s No Business Like Show Business

This should take the sting out of losing Amazon HQ for NYC: Netflix is planning a new production hub in New York City with major staff hires to take advantage of tax credits available in the state. The entertainment giant will be investing $100 million to expand its footprint in Manhattan (adding 100,000 square feet, to be exact), build six new soundstages in Brooklyn and create more than 120 new executive roles. And if the news of even more programming has you concerned about how you’ll ever decide what to watch (the struggle is real), the streamer has a solution: it’s testing a new shuffle feature designed to mimic old-school TV, where you can pick a show and have it play a random episode, cutting out the endless scrolling and selection. (The more things change, the more they stay the same). TechCrunch


• The Future Is…Not Here Yet?

With mobile devices getting larger and larger, a folding touchscreen phone might just seem like the perfect solution to our woes. That is, if it works properly — which Samsung’s new Galaxy Fold apparently does not. The phone has been plagued with reports of screen damage from early reviewers. In some cases, users mistook the thin piece of plastic on top of the screen for a protective film and removed it, resulting in the device’s failure. Others said the phone had issues from the beginning, with display problems like flickering and the screen bulging under the surface. Supposedly unrelated? Samsung postponing the Fold’s Chinese launch date. Originally planned for midweek, the cancellation is officially due to unresolved issues with the venue (…sometimes you gotta know when to fold ’em). CNET


• Climbing: Fallen Athletes

In a tragic conclusion, the bodies of three world-renowned climbers who went missing in the Rocky Mountains last week have been recovered. Hansjörg Auer and David Lama of Austria and American Jess Roskelley set out on Tuesday on a mission to climb the east face of Howse Peak (a.k.a. M16) in Banff National Park. On Wednesday, they were reported overdue in returning from the excursion; Parks Canada officials feared they had been caught in one of many avalanches in the region. The trio of professional mountaineers was presumed dead after “debris containing climbing equipment” was spotted from the air, but dangerous conditions prevented recovery crews from safely searching the area on the ground until yesterday. The route up M16 has only been successfully climbed once before. CBC News

• Playoffs update 🇨🇦

↳ The Calgary Flames were eliminated over the weekend by the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado won the series 4–1.
↳ The Winnipeg Jets were also eliminated over the weekend by the St. Louis Blues. St. Louis won the series 4–2.
↳ The Toronto Maple Leafs, now the only Canadian team left in the NHL playoffs (no pressure, guys), won game five (2–1) and lost game six (4-2) over the weekend. The Leafs now return to Boston for another game seven against the Bruins tomorrow night. 
↳ The Toronto Raptors won both of their games against the Orlando Magic this weekend, putting the team up 3–1 in the series. Game five is tomorrow night at 7pm. 


• She Run the World

In her bid for world domination, Beyoncé has struck a three-project deal worth $60 million with Netflix. If you think this price tag seems steep, you haven’t been paying attention. The musical superstar is regularly lauded as a creative genius and rarely grants interviews, leaving her fans thirsty for insights into her personal life and artistic methods. Part 1 dropped on April 17 with Homecoming, a documentary-style program offering a behind-the-scenes peek at the prep, planning and execution of Queen Bey’s 2018 performance at Coachella, with two more (yet-to-be-announced) specials on the way. Variety


• Vicks, Windex and Now…

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. The FDA has issued a warning in regards to an event held by the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing. The organization supposedly has in its possession a miraculous substance that can cure the vast majority of the world’s diseases, including biggies like Ebola, cancer and dengue fever. What is it, you ask? They call it sacramental cleansing water, but it’s just your plain, garden-variety bleach. (Potato, potah-to). While it should go without saying the bleach should be used with caution, one church member reported to BBC back in 2015 that he regularly applies it on his eyes, nose, ears, and also bathes, drinks and breathes it in. There’s been no follow-up on the state of his health since. (Well, it certainly cleared his head.) Gizmodo


• I, Mother Earth

First celebrated on April 22, 1970, Earth Day is a global movement to raise awareness of our negative impact on the environment. More than 193 countries now host events, all coordinated by the Earth Day Network


• PEI Green Party candidate Josh Underhay and his son died in a canoeing accident this weekend. In the wake of the tragedy, the vote for his riding will be delayed from tomorrow’s provincial election.

• The Canadian supreme court has ruled police don’t require a warrant to carry out sting operations online.

• Canopy Growth Corp. is just one pesky legal roadblock away from acquiring U.S. marijuana operator Acreage Holdings Inc. in a US $3.4 billion deal.

• With her Lotte Championship victory on Saturday, golfer Brooke Henderson has tied the Canadian record for most career victories on the LPGA or PGA Tour.

• You can already talk to Siri on your iPhone, AppleTV and HomePod — so really, it’s about time Apple put her inside your Mac, too, along with other rumoured updates.

• Heartbreak is in the air — Adele, Michelle Williams, and Ben Affleck are all back in the dating pool following a weekend of big breakups in Hollywood.


• Princess Power

Prince Charming can just cheer from the sidelines, thanks.

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