✨ Good morning! Today is Tuesday, July 23, 2019, and we couldn’t be happier to see this friendly face again.
BULLETIN: WEI TOO MUCH TROUBLE
• The Background
Today’s newsletter starts with not one, but two Huawei-related stories making waves in Canada and abroad. At home, Huawei Canada unveiled its plan to bring high-speed internet to a number of northern and rural communities in the country. The Chinese telecommunications giant is partnering up with two companies, Ice Wireless and Iristel, to bring 70 remote communities (including 20 in the arctic and 50 in northeastern Quebec) 4G LTE networks by 2025. But naturally, amid rocky relations with Canada (and the U.S. — which you can read more about here), the company was hounded with questions about its ties to the Chinese government during the announcement, with many fearing Huawei could pass on North American intelligence. CBC News
• What Else You Need to Know
A former Huawei employee leaked spreadsheets that prove the tech company orchestrated a secret operation to build out North Korea’s wireless network. (Not a great sign that it won’t leak North American secrets to our enemies.) In addition to helping NoKo’s government construct its commercial wireless network, it also helped it partner up with Panda, a Chinese state-owned firm, on a number of projects in the region.
• What’s Next?
Since Huawei used American technology in its components, the company’s secret North Korean operations definitely raise questions about whether it violated international sanctions against the isolated regime. Huawei, however, claimed it has no presence in North Korea and denied the claims. And as for the new plans in Canada, a Canadian Security Review Program is currently in place to monitor any cyber security risks.
• Liar, Liar
As if things weren’t tense enough, Iran claimed it arrested 17 alleged CIA spies and had sentenced some to death. However, POTUS (who’s getting even faster at pulling the trigger on a tweet) quickly took to the social media platform to accuse Iran of lying, stating that the reports were “totally false.” He might be right; media briefings are highly unusual in Iran, and in this case, the official who provided the information did not release his own name (another red flag). And the tanker drama between the U.K. and Iran is still brewing, as Britain is now putting together a maritime protection mission to safeguard U.K. ships (and possibly U.S. ships, too) passing through the Strait of Hormuz. Global News
• Canada: Reigning Supreme
In a historic deal with the government, the Supreme Court of Canada won the right to enshrine its authority for key administrative functions. The first of its kind, the accord outlines the court’s responsibilities with regard to funding requests, contracting authority and the appointment of the court’s senior administrative officers. The pact will serve to strengthen judicial independence, and went into effect yesterday. iPolitics
• U.S.: Deportation Demands
In a bold immigration policy shift, the Trump administration is vastly expanding its procedure to fast-track the deportation process. The new policy will now include the deportation of undocumented immigrants who can’t provide evidence they’ve lived in the U.S. continually for two years or longer. Trump’s so-called “expedited removal” procedure now includes a wider net of immigrants (thousands more than were previously targeted), and will allow immigration authorities to remove an individual without a hearing before a judge. The American Civil Liberties Union is vowing to challenge the new plan in court. CNN
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The number of sexual assaults reported by police is likely an underestimation of the true extent of sexual assault in Canada.”
– A new Statistics Canada report reiterates what we all already know about sexual assault — and shares that police-reported crime in Canada went up for the fourth year in a row in 2018. CBC News
• Shaking Up SNC
Lest we forget about our old friend SNC-Lavalin, the construction company at the core of a major political scandal in Canada. The company is now undergoing a major overhaul, withdrawing its 2019 forecast and warning of substantially lower results amid the fallout from the affair. The Montreal-based company has been in court for fraud and corruption charges, and will reorganize itself to focus more on its high-performing and growth areas, while abandoning its poorer performing segments. It will also book an additional $1.9 billion in impairment charges for its oil and gas division. SNC’s shares dropped more than 44% in 2019, and fell another 8% yesterday morning. Financial Post
• Swimming: Water Win
In a historic win for Canada, swimmer Maggie MacNeil brought home the country’s first gold medal at the world aquatic championships. The 19-year-old, who hails from London, Ont., was competing as part of her senior national team and wowed judges with her impressive 100-metre butterfly stroke. She set a Canadian record with a time of 55.83 seconds, a 0.39-second lead over reigning Olympic champ Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden. CTV News
• Flix for the Family
Netflix knows that parents rely on its service in times of desperation, and it wants to do more to help. Yesterday, the streaming giant announced that it’s adding seven new animated and live-action shows to its lineup of children’s programming, all aimed at those between the (challenging) ages of two and six. There’s the new DreamWorks Dragons Rescue Riders (a followup to How to Train Your Dragon), Hello Ninja, Go, Dog, Go(which follows the adventures of a puppy), and a new superhero animated show calledStarBeam. Variety
• The Naked Truth
If you think your in-laws are bad, we can almost guarantee you’ll be singing their praises by the end of this paragraph. A woman took to the internet to share the most horrifying (and scarring) in-law story we’ve heard — it includes lies, a major surprise and a heck of a lot of nudity. In a very unfortunate hometown family visit, a poor unsuspecting wife got the surprise of a lifetime when she found out her husband’s father is a nudist in his house. (And yes, she found out when she came home from dinner and found her FIL watching tube in the nude.) Mirror
• Back to Basics
Today is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day, a holiday to celebrate the summertime classic. So do yourself (and the season) a favour and grab a scoop. You deserve it.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Credit-monitoring firm Equifax will pay up to US $700 million in fines and penalties over a massive 2017 data breach.
• Three people are dead and two are missing in Northern B.C. — police are assuring the public there’s no evidence of a connection or that it’s the work of a serial killer.
• Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of Puerto Rico yesterday, in yet another attempt to get Gov. Ricardo Rossello to resign.
• Adorable real-life couple Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse (also known as Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones on Riverdale) have apparently split after two years of dating.
• Sean Hayes will be hosting the Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin.
• Home to Win
This sounds selfless until you do the math.