Subscribe to The Bullet to get a quick shot of daily news to your inbox.
✨ Good morning! Today is Thursday, August 15, 2019, and we can’t decide if this is super cute or just plain creepy.
BULLETIN: THE VIOLATION VERDICT
• The Background
We come bearing bad news — both for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and for all of you, since the infamous SNC-Lavalin scandal is making headlines yet again (we know, we thought it was over, too). The federal ethics commissioner found that Trudeau did, in fact, violate an ethics law in his handling of the corporate criminal case. In a damning report, it was revealed that Trudeau tried to persuade then-justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to overturn a decision to not grant a deferred prosecution agreement to engineering firm, SNC-Lavalin. In essence, he tried to help SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution, by urging Wilson-Raybould to reach an agreement. In doing so, he violated Section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act. (Tsk, tsk.) CBC News
• What Else You Need to Know
Mario Dion, ethics commissioner and the man at the helm of this case says, “the authority of the prime minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the director of public prosecutions as well as the authority of Ms. Wilson‑Raybould as the Crown’s chief law officer.” Trudeau’s actions broke a longstanding policy of protecting the justice system from political interference.
• What’s Next?
Trudeau denies influencing Wilson-Raybould, rather, he claims he felt the former justice minister did not adequately consider the possibility of negotiating an agreement, something he considered to be in the public interest. Nonetheless, the PM says he’s willing to take responsibility. While there’s no sanction or direct penalty for the violation, the timing of this secondary scandal sucks big time for the prime minister, and could very well affect his chances of winning the upcoming federal election.
• Monsoon Monstrosity
Torrential downpour in four Indian states — Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat — is leaving widespread destruction in its wake, forcing 1.2 million people to flee their homes and travel to government-run relief camps. The rain has caused flooding and landslides in the region, which has left at least 270 people dead. Relief efforts are underway; India has deployed the army, navy and air force to search and rescue missing people in the impacted regions. The Guardian
• U.S.: Empty Promise
The Trump administration outlined a proposal yesterday, which would give businesses with federal contracts the green light to discriminate against employees on the basis of race, sex, and LGBT status, in an effort to “protect” companies’ religious beliefs. The proposal, which was put forward by the Labor Department, comes after a series of Supreme Court decisions that protected the rights of businesses to refuse service to gay customers and opt out of coverage for employees’ birth control. (Are we seriously in 2019?) If passed, the rule would apply to any organization that can prove it serves a religious purpose. Adding insult to injury, the proposal directly opposes Trump’s previous declaration in 2017, when he promised he would leave Obama’s LGBT protections intact. Politico
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The time has arrived to teach you a lesson.”
– Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan threatens Delhi after it revoked Indian-administered Kashmir’s special status last week. Khan also said the Pakistani army has “solid information” that India’s “planning to do something” in Pakistani Kashmir. The Guardian
• Tumbling Dow(n)
U.S. stocks had the worst day of 2019, after the Dow Jones plummeted 800 points. All the while, the bond market, for the first time in more than 10 years, sounded the alarm that a possible recession could be on the horizon. (Fan-friggin-tastic.) Adding to the anxiety, the 30-year Treasury yield fell below 2.05%, which is its lowest on record. Investors are now praying the Federal Reserve will apply additional rate cuts (on top of the ones they already delivered last month), which would only be a temporary fix. China and European markets also fell, igniting fears of a global recession. CNN
• Hot Take
The ’90s may be having its fashion moment, but the ’80s is having its Hollywood moment — and another cult classic movie is making its return to the screen. Yesterday, it was revealed that NBC is looking to remake St. Elmo’s Fire as an hourlong television drama. The 1985 film starred Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Mare Winningham and followed their struggles with “career, commitment and the responsibilities of adulthood.” (Bring on the Brat Pack, stat!) Hollywood Reporter
📖👀🎧 THE WEEKEND PLAYLIST
Cara Wall’s debut novel The Dearly Beloved tells the story of two couples, set against the backdrop of turbulent societal changes in the 1960s. (Not sold? Vanity Fair has already ranked it one of the best books to take on your August vacation.)
Blinded by the Light is hitting Canadian theatres tomorrow, and here’s what Bruce Springsteen has to say about it.
Katy Perry is back with her latest single, “Small Talk,” featuring Charlie Puth.
• Idiot Box
More than 50 outdated television sets have been mysteriously left on front porches in a Virginia neighbourhood. The weirdest part: the person who placed the old-school TVs on the doorsteps of the homes was actually wearing a TV on his head — the extremely bizarre individual was caught on security camera for your viewing pleasure. (Clearly, the dude has his head in the game.) Though the prankster has been deemed harmless, there are two questions still troubling residents: who on earth is this person and why is he randomly leaving TVs on porches? Stay tuned for next week’s episode… Washington Post
• Inhale, Exhale
Today is National Relaxation Day, an annual holiday to encourage everyone to pause their busy lives, take a deep breath, and simply relax. Here are 15 ways proven to help improve relaxation. Our favourite: grab some chocolate.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• The fight over Jeffrey Epstein’s estate has begun. One of his accusers is suing the billionaire’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and three unnamed members of his staff.
• LGBTQ content creators have a major beef with YouTube — according to a new lawsuit, the group alleges the company discriminates against their videos.
• Speaking of lawsuits, Capital One could be facing a $600-million class-action lawsuit over its July 2019 data breach.
• After a long drama-filled trial, A$AP Rocky has been found guilty of assault by a Swedish judge.
• Baby mania hits the modelling world! Ashley Graham and her husband Justin Ervin just announced they’re expecting their first child.
• Fake It Till You Make It
Do it for the ‘gram (or just don’t, tbh).