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✨ Good morning! Today is Monday, December 3, 2018 and we don’t want to alarm you but your daily avocado toast just might be supporting criminal cartels. 😳
BULLETIN: TALKING THE TALK
• The Background
As per usual, the president of the United States caused a commotion at an international summit. Over the weekend, leaders from the world’s largest economies met in Buenos Aires, Argentina to discuss the biggest issues facing the world today. As expected, trade, climate change, the Ukraine conflict and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi were all hot topics at the two-day meeting. Leaders agreed to discuss “reforming” the World Trade Organization but tabled the issue and plan to discuss it at the next G20 Summit in June 2019. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman faced pressure from French President Emmanuel Macron (who apparently told the prince he was worried), British Prime Minister Theresa May, and our very own PM, who apparently was the only leader to raise the issues during an official session. (Of course, Russian President Vladimir Putin greeted Bin Salman rather warmly.) Speaking of Putin, the Russian president also faced some tough questions from the international community, which is clearly concerned about the rising tensions in the Ukraine. Global News
• What Else You Need to Know
On the topic of trade, the U.S. and China managed to come to some sort of agreement (albeit temporary) at a dinner after the Summit, announcing a 90-day truce in their trade battle. The agreement means the U.S. will hold off on raising tariffs on almost $200 billion of Chinese goods (the tariff hike was planned for January) and China agreed to “to buy a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial amount of agricultural, energy, industrial” products to close the trade gap with the U.S. Though Trump came to terms with China, he still couldn’t get on board with the Paris Climate Accord, standing firm as the only country of the 20 nations to withhold his signature. The other 19 reaffirmed their commitment to fighting climate change (which based on the results of this new study, is really good effin’ news).
• What’s Next?
Trump, Trudeau and Pena Nieto signed the revised North American trade agreement (a.k.a. USMCA) on the first day of the Summit, which is now heading to each country’s legislature to be ratified.
• Making Their Mark
Canada’s Walk of Fame got several stars brighter this weekend. Nine influential Canadians were inducted on Saturday, marking the organization’s 20th anniversary. Stars whose names have been added to the sidewalk outside Toronto’s theatres include actor Seth Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg, figure skating darling duo Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, and astronaut Chris Hadfield (who was doubly honoured courtesy of the the Barenaked Ladies, who preformed a song they’d written about the spaceman). Also on the list were singer-songwriter Andy Kim, business magnate and philanthropist Jim Pattison (a.k.a. Canada’s fourth richest person), actress Andrea Martin, and folk music legend Leonard Cohen. Canoe
• Not-So-Peaceful Protests
On Saturday, 5,500 activists stormed the streets of Paris in the worst riot France has seen in more than a decade. Thousands of riot police attempted to gain control over those torching cars, smashing windows, looting, and defacing the Arc de Triomphe in protest of rising taxes and the high cost of living. French President Emmanuel Macron left the G20 summit to hold an emergency meeting in Paris yesterday. He denounced the violence saying, “[violence] has nothing to do with the peaceful expression of a legitimate anger.” Paris police say at least 133 people, including 23 police officers, have been injured and as of Sunday evening, 378 people remained in police custody. Seventy-five thousand protesters took part in demonstrations across the country, but those outside Paris were largely peaceful. CBC News
• U.S.: Honouring a Fallen Leader
America lost its 41st president over the weekend, when George H.W. Bush passed away at the age of 94. The lifelong politician served one term in the Oval Office from 1989 to 1993, and was succeeded by President Bill Clinton (to whom Bush left this famous note). Current president, Donald Trump, announced that this Wednesday would be an official day of mourning in honour of Bush Sr. and that all flags would be held at half-staff for 30 days. Memorial services will begin this afternoon, with an arrival ceremony involving both the House of Representatives and the Senate beginning at 4:45pm ET at the U.S. Capitol, where visitors will also be able to pay their respects to the former president from this evening through Wednesday morning. The first official memorial service will be held Wednesday morning at 11am ET at the National Cathedral in Washington with a second at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church at 11am ET Thursday in Texas. CNN
• World: Presidential Promises
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador became president of Mexico after taking the oath of office on Saturday. “We are going to govern for everyone. But we are going to give preference to the most impoverished and vulnerable. For the good of all, the poor come first,” said Lopez Obrador at his inaugural celebration in Mexico City. The 65-year-old’s promises to transform the country’s economy, lead a corruption-free government, and to help the poor won him votes from over 30 million Mexicans during July’s election, but while many are happy to see Lopez Obrador come to power, others are concerned about his economic decisions and authoritarianism. Lopez Obrador’s decision to stop the construction of a new $13 billion airport has already caused the peso to drop significantly. CTV News
QUOTE OF THE DAY
It is as though a false memory had been implanted, which, because it never actually happened, had to be remembered as an evening she doesn’t remember.
– Following a series of sexual misconduct allegations against him, famed astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson pens a lengthy account of his version of the events, while announcing that Fox/NatGeo (the networks that air his programs Cosmos and StarTalk) will be conducting an independent investigation into the claims. Deadline
• Hacked Hotel
Marriott has announced a data security breach said to affect 500 million guests of its Starwood line of hotels, including Sheraton, W, Westin, and others. Unauthorized access to its guest database reportedly goes back to 2014, with the breach affecting those who made bookings on or before Sept.10. Data stolen by unknown hackers includes guest names, contact information, passport numbers, and credit card information. “We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves,” said Marriott president and CEO Arne Sorenson. As part of the company’s reconciliation efforts, Marriott has offered guests in the U.S., U.K., and Canada a yearlong membership to WebWatcher, software which tracks where a user’s personal information is shared online. Business Insider
• Picture of Health
Beijing-based artificial intelligence startup Infervision is using deep learning to improve the speed and accuracy of medical imaging analysis. According to founder and CEO Chen Kuan, Infervision can process an image and put together a report in less than 30 seconds — much faster than the 15 to 20 minutes it typically takes a doctor to perform the same task. Infervision also improves accuracy by 20%, critical considering misdiagnosis rates have been shown to average 46%. While Infervision currently detects cancerous lung cells and cardiac calcification, the company plans to expand to detect cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases down the road. TechCrunch
• Two Weddings and a Tiffany Ring
Remember when Nick Jonas closed down a Tiffany’s store to buy Priyanka Chopra an engagement ring just two months after they started dating? Well unlike Ariana and Pete, this lovestruck pair made it down the aisle in not one, but two beautiful ceremonies at the Umaid Bhawan palace in Jodphur, Rajasthan this weekend. Sharing a love and respect for one another’s cultures, Jonas and Chopra were married in a Christian ceremony officiated by Nick’s father on Saturday and on Sunday were married a second time in an Indian ceremony. Though in typical Indian wedding fashion, celebrations began Wednesday and continued throughout the week. Famous guests included Kevin Jonas and wife Danielle, Joe Jonas and fiancée Sophie Turner, Jack McBrayer, Elizabeth Chambers Hammer, Lilly Singh, and more. People
• Not Safe for Work
Starbucks has earned itself an unlikely nemesis with its recent announcement that it would be updating its WiFi networks’ security measures to block out porn sites. Following last week’s announcement, YouPorn clapped back against the coffee megacorp in the most eye-for-an-eye way: By banning Starbucks drinks from being consumed inside its offices. In an email that’s gone viral on Reddit, Vice President of YouPorn Charlie Hughes leads with the subject line “Effective, Jan. 1 — Updated Company Policy” and writes “In light of the news that Starbucks has blocked customers from searching and viewing adult content within their establishments, Starbucks products will officially be banned from the YouPorn offices.” (We’re guessing Hughes is a cold brew fan, since that revenge tactic is ice cold.) News18
STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• A massive “unexplored” cave has been discovered deep in B.C.’s Wells Gray Provincial Park.
• Sleep Country is getting into the bed-in-a-box business. It’s acquired Canadian start-up Endy for $89 million.
• Facebook can’t seem to get users to watch its original shows, so it’s trying a different tactic: old cult favourites (think Buffy and Angel) will now be available on the social media platform.
• Toronto hockey fans celebrated hard this weekend. Forward William Nylander signed a six-year contract extension with the Maple Leafs right before Saturday’s 5pm deadline.
• She may have had a tough year, but Ariana Grande is having a great December. She released the much-anticipated “Thank U, Next” video on Friday (which paid homage to some of the best rom-coms of the 2000s) and quickly broke the record for most views in 24 hours.
• Bridging the Gap
On Dec. 3, 1919, the Quebec Bridge opened to traffic after nearly 20 years of planning and construction (including two collapses that resulted in 89 deaths).
• Feet First
We’ve found the perfect gift for that selfie-loving friend who has everything. (You’re welcome.)