Towing the party lines

What happened at last night's federal election debate, some major Trump news and a beloved Raptor signs a contract extension.

Towing the party lines

What happened at last night's federal election debate, some major Trump news and a beloved Raptor signs a contract extension.

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✨  Good morning! Today is Tuesday, October 8, 2019, and if it wasn’t cleaning day before, it sure is now


• The Background

The stakes are getting increasingly high, after six federal leaders took the stage at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau last night for the final English debate ahead of the Oct. 21 federal election. The two-hour debate was divided into five sections, each focusing on a theme: affordability, environment and energy, indigenous issues, leadership and Canada on the world stage, and human rights and immigration. While the topics varied, there was one party leader that everyone had in their crosshairs: Justin Trudeau. From Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer calling him a “phoney” (regarding the blackface photos) to NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calling him “Mr. Delay,” it seemed everyone took a shot at the PM. Globe and Mail

• What Else You Need to Know

While Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has come to terms with the idea that she won’t get the prime minister gig, she’s also pretty damn sure Andrew Scheer won’t get it either. May told him so in last night’s debate, and encouraged voters to elect the Green Party as the official opposition to keep Trudeau’s Liberals in check. As for the NDP, Singh doubled down on his promise to fight for “ordinary Canadians,” unlike the Liberals and Conservatives who Singh claimed cater to “wealthy corporations.” Speaking of wealthy corporations, the SNC-Lavalin scandal got another 15 minutes of fame, as Scheer once again accused Trudeau of breaking the law. And lastly, Scheer made sure to separate himself from Ontario Premier Doug Ford on multiple occasions, but never as clearly as he did on the subject of autism funding: Scheer promised $50 million in funding over five years. 

• What’s Next?

French debate (Thurs., Oct. 10, at 8pm ET) and the election! Leaders will continue campaigning before we all (yes, everyone who can, should!) head to the polls to vote in Canada’s next federal government (on Oct. 21, in case it wasn’t clear).


• Arresting Activists

Climate activists around the world continued to peacefully protest yesterday, blocking bridges and major arteries, and demanding immediate action. In London alone, 135 protesters were arrested from the Extinction Rebellion group, the organization running the demonstrations in more than 60 countries, while Dutch police arrested 100.  In Canada, dozens of Extinction Rebellion protesters have blocked off major intersections from coast to coast, though none have been arrested thus far. Global News


• U.S.: Tax Tease

In an almost taxing loss for President Donald Trump, a federal judge dismissed POTUS’s fervent effort to prevent his tax returns from being turned over to a New York grand jury. The significant ruling suggested that Trump would be forced to turn over his tax returns — but the president must have a horseshoe up his arse, because he was granted a last-minute reprieve a few hours later. He is no longer required to hand over the documents by Monday; instead, a panel of appellate judges will hear the case and then issue a final ruling. (Better hold onto that horseshoe.) ABC News

• World: Syria Shakeup

In more Tumped-up news, the president endorsed a Turkish military operation that would remove American-backed Kurdish forces near the Syrian border, marking a major military policy shift. The controversial decision directly counters the viewpoints of top officials in the Pentagon and the State Department, who want a small group of American-supported troops in Syria to maintain operations against ISIS. U.S. officials have already ripped into Trump, criticizing his decision and warning it could lead to havoc. New York Times


“Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.”

– Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeting support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. The message spurred a firestorm in China, inciting backlash from the Chinese Basketball Association, which now plans to suspend all cooperation with the Texas-based team. CNN


• Early Retirement

General Electric (GE) has big plans to slash its industrial net debt by roughly 50%. How you ask? By freezing its U.S. pension plan, which will affect roughly 20,000 workers. GE hopes to reduce its pension deficit by a cool $5 to $8 billion by pre-funding between $4 and $5 billion of its 2021–22 pension obligations, offering lump-sum payments to 100K former employees, freezing supplementary pension benefits for executives, and dipping into the (hoped for) $38 billion in upcoming asset sales. Bear in mind that this is a pension backlog; GE halted its pension to new hires back in 2012. (Yikes.) Globe and Mail


• Screen Time

Amazon is launching a Kindle for kids. The six-inch e-reader comes pre-loaded with more than 1,000 books, educational tools, and parental controls. The Kindle Kids Edition also comes with a cover, a year’s subscription to Amazon’s Kids Unlimited, and a two-year warranty that covers breakage during use (because we all know how kids can be). Amazon has also promised that soon age-appropriate audiobooks will be available from Audible as part of the Kindle Kids package. The Guardian


• Basketball: Stickin’ Around

Looks like Kyle Lowry will be staying in the 6ix for the next little while — Lowry’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, confirmed yesterday that the player came to a $31-million, one-year extension deal with the Toronto Raptors that will see him through to the end of the 2020–21 season. This will be Lowry’s eighth NBA season with the Raptors, making him the longest-tenured player on the team roster. He’s been out of the game due to a thumb injury, but expects to be back in time for the regular season. (Thumbs up!) Global News


• A Higher Loyalty Cast Announced

The leads have been cast for the long-awaited James Comey/Donald Trump miniseries from Oscar-nominated screenwriter and director, Billy Ray. Hollywood heavyweights Brendan Gleeson and Jeff Daniels will star side by side as President Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey, respectively. The miniseries will be adapted from Comey’s bestselling book A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, which details the deterioration of their relationship throughout the Michael Flynn investigation. (In other words: pass the popcorn!) Deadline


• Toot-Toot!

If the world believes one thing about Elon Musk, it’s that he’s one strange dude — which was confirmed when he announced that Tesla owners would soon be able to customize their movement and horn sounds. New government regulations require electric cars to broadcast external sounds when travelling under certain speeds as a safety feature for the visually impaired, since electric cars run so quietly on their own. However Musk isn’t just going for your average beeps, the interesting (and bizarre) new options include coconuts, goats, and farts. (Teslas don’t emit any gas, but they’ll soon sound like they do.) Fox News


• Imagine That

Imagine a world without John Lennon’s “Imagine”? The iconic hit was released on this day 48 years ago.


• Apparently it’s not just Europe that will be impacted by Brexit. HSBC has plans to cut 10,000 jobs around the globe, in an attempt to rein in costs amid the uncertain fate of the U.K. 

• Three scientists won the Nobel Prize in medicine, for unearthing information on how the body’s cells sense and react to oxygen levels. Over on the physics side, James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz were recognized for their discoveries in the universe. 

• Spotify has updated to include Siri support, meaning you can now ask Apple’s virtual assistant to play music from your Spotify app. 

• Get excited, Mac users: MacOS Catalina is here and it’s revolutionary. (Buh-bye, iTunes. Hello, Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Podcasts.)


• Status Update

This is a little quick, don’t you think?

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