We’re hitting our boiling point

Temperatures are set to spike in North America, the U.S. inches closer to war, and this year's Kennedy Center honourees.

We’re hitting our boiling point

Temperatures are set to spike in North America, the U.S. inches closer to war, and this year's Kennedy Center honourees.

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✨  Good morning! Today is Friday, July 19, 2019, and there’s a reason this hasn’t happened in 69 years. (Oopsie.) 


• The Background

If you haven’t already noticed, temperatures are reaching scary highs this summer, but it’s about to get even more excruciating. Temperatures in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa are expected to reach the mid-40s in the coming days, which is between five and eight degrees higher than average temperatures for July. Heat warnings are likely to take effect for the majority of southern, eastern and central Ontario, plus most of Quebec and the Maritimes. The wave will likely last all throughout the weekend, hopefully coming to an end on Tuesday. CTV News

• What Else You Need to Know

Canadians aren’t the only ones feeling the heat. Earth sizzled to its hottest June on record, as the global climate continues to run a metaphorical fever. The eastern half of the U.S. will see temperatures in the high-30s over the next week, with more than 70 million people under heat watches, warnings and advisories. Meteorologists on both sides of the border say the most worrisome part of the heat is overnight temperatures, since there is no relief for people without adequate air conditioning or a place to cool down.

• What’s Next?

Young people, the elderly and those with mental health issues or chronic diseases are most at risk in the potentially fatal scorcher, so look out for your loved ones. People are being urged to stay in cool buildings if possible, and of course, drink plenty of water.


• Anime Atrocity

Yesterday was a devastating day in Kyoto, Japan, and for anime lovers across the globe, after a man set fire to a beloved animation studio, leaving 33 people dead and dozens more injured. The 41-year-old suspect broke into the studio and doused it with a flammable liquid, screaming “you die,” before setting the three-storey building ablaze. There is little information surrounding the suspect’s motivation for carrying out the brazen killing, but witnesses say the attacker complained that the animation studio had stolen something of his. BBC News


• Canada: Challenge Rejected

Quebec’s religious symbols law is going forward despite court motions from both the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association requesting a temporary suspension on two of the law’s most controversial sections. Both groups filed a court motion within hours of the law passing last month, challenging its constitutionality, but Justice Michel Yergeau noted that approval of the suspension would have been unusual, since it was passed by a legislature in the first place. (In other words: not a chance.) CBC News

• U.S.: Enough is Enough

Following a series of protests this week, Puerto Ricans took to the streets of San Juan again yesterday in an enormous protest against the island’s corrupt government. For the fifth day in a row, demonstrators demanded Governor Ricardo Roselló’s resignation after nearly 900 pages of chats with his inner circle were leaked, unveiling a disturbing degree of government corruption. Roselló’s diminishing power and public respect has left Puerto Rico’s fate in the hands of President Donald Trump, who slammed the governor and corrupt Puerto Rican officials. New York Times


“[The U.S.] reserves [the] right to defend our personnel, our facilities, and interests.”

– President Trump, announcing that a U.S. Navy ship (known as the USS Boxer) destroyed an Iranian drone in a defensive measure amid mounting tensions in the Strait of Hormuz. CNBC


• Toys “R” Back

After a sad collapse and closure of 700 American stores, Toys ‘R’ Us is officially back in action and with some much-needed innovation. The iconic children’s toy store has joined forces with b8ta, a retail-as-a-service startup that designs interactive, tech-forward stores. The toy chain is being reborn with two new locations (one in Houston and one in New Jersey), both of which will be smaller than the old stores but more engaging and interactive, featuring movie-viewing spaces, a treehouse, video games and more. CNN


• The Big Honour

Sesame Street continues to set records. It was revealed yesterday that the long-running children’s program will become the first television show in history to receive a lifetime artistic achievement award at the Kennedy Center Honors. Along with Sesame Street, actress Sally Field; singer Linda Ronstadt; R&B band Earth, Wind & Fire; and conductor and co-founder of the San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas, will all be honoured at the 42nd annual event. The gala will air on Sunday, Dec. 15 on CBS, where viewers might catch a glimpse of some political drama — though President Trump’s skipped out on the past two galas due to recipients threatening to boycott, he just might be in attendance. Deadline


• Maker (Cleaner) Waves 🌊

Toronto’s making moves to clean up Lake Ontario and we couldn’t be happier (or prouder!). The Toronto Outer Harbour Marina is participating in a pilot project called Seabin, which involves installing cylindrical containers along the waterfront that suck in pollution and hold the debris in a containment bag until it can be properly disposed of. The brainchild of two Australian surfers, Seabins can collect anything on the surface level, including oil from spills or even microplastics. Coastal countries like ours are responsible for eight million(!!) tonnes of plastic waste escaping into the oceans every year, and a single Seabin can collect up to 1.4 tonnes in the same timeframe. (It’s definitely a long way to go, but change needs to start somewhere…) CBC News


• Tans Be Damned

People take their tans very, very seriously. A German man in his seventies is suing one of his fellow cruise ship passengers after a violent (we repeat: violent) fight broke out over sunbeds. (And here we thought cruises were supposed to be relaxing.) The plaintiff and his wife claim that they were trying to reserve two sunbeds when another passenger (the defendant’s wife) tossed her handbag onto one of their “reserved” loungers. (The horror!) The defendant claims they had already reserved the sunbeds when the plaintiff asked to use them. The 70-year-old is now claiming that the argument caused injuries to his forearm. The case is headed to a German court in Saxony where the elder passenger is seeking €4,200 over “loss of holiday pleasure.” (That’s gotta burn.) Newsweek


• Summer Sipping

Today is International Daiquiri Day, dedicated to celebrating (and slurping) the delicious, refreshing and perfect summer drink. Need relief from the blistering heat? Try this frozen strawberry daiquiri.


• The federal government is coughing up $900 million to settle a class-action lawsuit on sexual misconduct in the military. 

• Speaking of sexual misconduct, billionaire and alleged sex-trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein, has been denied bail and ordered to stay in jail throughout his ongoing trial.

• A notorious Italian crime family in Ontario has been taken down in a massive bust that netted over $35 million in assets and led to the arrests of 27 people. 

• The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15. However, it’s pretty likely the Republican-controlled Senate will challenge the measure.

• It’s official: The rock documentary Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band about The Weight rockers will open the 2019 Toronto Film Festival


• Disney Gets Dirty

Is nothing sacred anymore?

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