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✨ Good morning! Today is Thursday, May 30, 2019, and Instagram is really going for broke.
BULLETIN: HE SPEAKS
• The Background
We finally know what Robert Mueller’s been thinking through this whole Russia investigation — we think. The special counsel opted to hold a press conference yesterday to announce his resignation from the Justice Department (he wants to “return to private life”) and address much of the speculation around his thoughts and intentions when putting together the 448-page report. In his short 10-minute address, Mueller made one thing very clear: he did not exonerate the president. (Despite Trump’s very enthusiastic tweets to the contrary.) Specifically addressing the question of whether or not POTUS committed any sort of crime, the special counsel said this: “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not however make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.” He also revealed that no matter what his investigation found, he was unable to charge the president with a crime since longstanding Justice Department opinions say that a president can’t be indicted while in office. National Post
• What Else You Need to Know
Mueller also did his best to draw the public’s attention to the election interference, which seems to have taken a back seat to questions about the president’s involvement. He said there were “multiple, systematic efforts” to influence the 2016 presidential election that “deserves the attention of every American.” As for whether or not Mueller will appear before Congress, the answer to that is a big, fat “no.” According to his statement, the special counsel doesn’t feel it would be “appropriate” to testify and that he wouldn’t be able to add anything beyond what was already in the report.
• What’s Next?
Obviously the president saw Mueller’s press conference as the end of the inquiry, tweeting (obviously) shortly after that the case was “closed.”
• Canada: Mending the Military Mandate
The Liberal government’s mission to overhaul Canada’s military justice system could be enacted sooner than we thought. A Senate committee voted to approve Bill C-77 without any changes. This comes one day after Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan warned members of the National Security and Defence Committee that making amendments could jeopardize the bill’s passage before parliament breaks for summer. The new bill aims to give victims in the justice system more say in court proceedings, while affording them access to certain information and protections. If passed, the law will also include a new form of military violation called a “service infraction” for minor breaches of conduct, which will follow a different legal structure than more serious offences. iPoliitcs
• World: Oh, Snap
The verdict is in: Israel will be holding a snap election. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a ruling coalition government before last night’s midnight deadline, forcing the country into an election. In a 74–45 vote, Israel’s parliament decided to dissolve itself, setting the country on a fresh path toward a second election for September 17. The prime minister was primed for his fifth term but neglected to address divisions between secular and religious allies, prompting the unprecedented vote. This is the first time in Israel’s history that an election has failed to produce a government. Al Jazeera
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The point is to make it very clear to Iran and its surrogates that these kinds of action risk a very strong response from the United States.”
– U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, explains why America sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf — and what will happen if Iran makes any questionable moves. CBC News
• Trials and Tribulations Ahead
We know, you’re all bored of reading about SNC-Lavalin (we are too, TBH) — but this one is important. The Montreal-based engineering company, best known for messing sh*t up in Canadian politics, is finally heading to trial. After months of drama, a Quebec judge ruled yesterday that there’s sufficient evidence to send SNC-Lavalin to trial on charges of fraud and corruption. Understandably, this is an outcome the company tried desperately to avoid, and even attempted to pay a fine rather than risk conviction. The court decision stems from a parliamentary inquiry, alleging the company paid approximately $48 million in bribes to Libyan officials between 2001 and 2011, while also defrauding a number of Libyan institutions out of $130 million. If SNC-Lavalin is found guilty, the company could face a 10-year ban on federal government contracts, which pretty much means, it would be on its last legs (if it isn’t already). CBC News
• Hold On, We Can’t Hear You
Who said anything about AirPods? Bose announced a trio of new listening accessories yesterday, including brand new noise-cancelling headphones that are said to be “the biggest leap forward in headphones since the iconic QuietComfort.” The over-ear Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 (so creative, guys) include voice control, so you can tell Alexa, Siri, or your Google Assistant when to increase the noise isolation. The combination of voice control and noise cancellation offers crystal clear sound so users can host calls in the busiest and loudest of locations. (No more freaking out every time you walk past that irritating construction site.) The Bose Noise Cancelling 700s will be released on June 30 for US $399 along with the two other products — the “super-compact” and “versatile” noise-cancelling 500 and 700 wireless earbuds. TechCrunch
• 🏒 Championship update 🏀
↳ The Boston Bruins lost game two of the Stanley Cup Finals (in overtime!) to the St. Louis Blues, 3-2. The two will face off again Saturday night at 8pm ET.
↳ Tonight’s the night! For the first time in history, an NBA Finals game will be played outside of the United States. Our very own Toronto Raptors take on Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors at 9pm ET. (Though don’t be surprised if the sidelines look a little different tonight.)
• Oh, Boy
Hopping on the BANDwagon trend of musician biopics, MGM just announced that it’s developing a film based on Culture Club singer Boy George. Written and directed by Sacha Gervasi and produced by Kevin King Templeton (who’s also behind the two Creed films), and George and Jessica de Rothschild, the film will depict George Alan O’Dowd’s childhood in an Irish working-class family, along with his rise to fame as Boy George, the androgynous leader of his band. Boy George has sold more than 100 million singles and more than 50 million albums, and is the author of two autobiographies. If that news wasn’t exciting enough, MGM also announced that an Aretha Franklin movie is in the works with Jennifer Hudson as the star. Variety
📖👀🎧 THE WEEKEND PLAYLIST
We’re getting personal and asking some of our fave people to share their playlist picks. This week’s edition is curated by our brand new associate editor, Sydney Page.
I always go back to Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things, thanks to the rich insight on love, life and pretty much everything else thrown our way. Plus, the book was recently adapted into a play and apparently, it’s a real tear-jerker — I love a good cry.
Killing Eve (which is otherwise known as killing all my productivity) is thrilling. But (spoiler alert), the second season finale was a little off-putting.
I’m not usually one for the top charts and pop music (I’m more of a sucker for the Goo Goo Dolls, Counting Crows & Dave Matthews Band), but Ed Sheeran’s latest collab with Chance the Rapper is admittedly on repeat.
• Some Deep Doo Doo
In true “on this day in Florida” news, an overflowing, unflushed toilet devolved into a dispute that included a swinging plunger and screaming expletives. A 58-year-old year woman accused her 36-year-old roommate, Trovon Patterson, of spitting on her after he refused to flush the toilet. After asking repeatedly, Patterson still refused to flush the toilet, so the woman decided to plunge (pun intended…sorry!) head first into the issue. She began to swing the plunger at Patterson as he began to spit and curse at her. After the whole commo(de)tion, the police report stilll doesn’t state whether or not the toilet ever got flushed. TCPalm
• Let The Juices Flow
Celebrate your inner artist, writer, musician, photographer or any other personal passion, because today is National Creativity Day. Unleash the most inventive corners of your imagination and share your ideas with the world, because, why not?
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Just as Theresa May’s getting ready to step down, her likely replacement (Boris Johnson) has been ordered to appear in court after apparently lying about the financial benefits of Brexit.
• General Motors and Bechtel Corp. are teaming up to power electric vehicles. The two announced that they’re building fast-charging stations across the U.S.
• Better be nice to your Uber driver. (Shame on you, if you weren’t already.) The ride-sharing company just announced that it’s going to start booting badly behaved (a.k.a. poorly rated) passengers from the app.
• The trade wars are having a major effect on our stock market. The TSX had its worst day of the year yesterday
• Good news out of Hollywood: Jeopardy host Alex Trebek says his stage four pancreatic cancer is responding well to treatment.
• What Time Is It, Mr. Millennial?
Apparently, some people actually don’t know.