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✨ Good morning! Today is Thursday, July 18, 2019, and if you’re one of the 150 million people who used the viral FaceApp, we’re sorry to tell you this.
BULLETIN: TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
• The Background
A Toronto man whose wife, three children and mother-in-law died in the devastating Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crash in March, bravely testified at a congressional hearing in Washington yesterday. The two fatal crashes involving Boeing 737 Max jets, only five months apart, killed 346 people in total and spurred public outcry and investigations. In a poignant speech, Paul Njoroge spoke on behalf of all the families who lost loved ones in the crashes, pointing at Boeing for its flagrant disregard for passenger safety and human life in the name of profit. Njoroge prodded lawmakers to scrutinize the Federal Aviation Administration as well, which approved the planes two years ago. (We second that.) Global News
• What Else You Need to Know
Boeing’s 737 Max fleet remains grounded, after U.S. regulators found more problems with the planes after a simulation test last month. The company is allegedly re-branding the plane before it’s given the clear to fly again. Boeing is struggling to regain the public’s trust after the twin disasters, and the company has yet to personally reach out to the families of victims. Njoroge dismissed Boeing’s efforts as mere publicity stunts, saying they continue to “propose half-baked promises to give $100 million to local government and nonprofit organizations.”
• What’s Next?
Boeing says it’s giving $50 million in financial reparations to crash victims’ families. Though the math is not yet clear, if the sum total of $50 million is divided evenly between every victim’s family, it’s hardly enough.
• Locked Up For Life
Notorious kingpin and leader of one of Mexico’s most powerful criminal mafias, Joaquín Guzmán Loera (more commonly known as El Chapo), has been officially sentenced to life in prison, halting one of history’s most infamous criminal careers. El Chapo was convicted of drug trafficking, murder and money laundering last winter in Brooklyn, New York, where he was convicted. On top of his life sentence (plus an additional 30 years), the kingpin was also ordered to cough up $12.6 billion in forfeiture. Before he vanished from the Federal District courtroom, he blew a (creepy) kiss to his wife who was involved in a number of his crimes. New York Times
• World: Sharing is Caring
Amid ongoing political chaos in Sudan, military rulers and protesters signed a power-sharing agreement, a glimmer of hope that the months of extreme violence are finally drawing to an end. The African country has been struggling with a political crisis between pro-democracy demonstrators and military rulers who have taken control since the fall of former dictator, Omar al-Bashir, in April. The success of the accord will depend on future talks on the political transition. The Guardian
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We strive for a trading relationship that addresses the fundamental issues of inequality, human rights and climate change.”
– An open letter from members of Canada’s parliament and a member of the Quebec National Assembly, which called on French politicians not to ratify the Canadian-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Global News
• Guilty As Charged
For those of you who have purchased Apple products with a rechargeable battery or AppleCare since December 2014, this might be good news for you. The Quebec Superior Court just authorized a class-action lawsuit against Apple Canada Inc. and Apple Inc, for allegedly failing to provide adequate information about the true battery life of its products. The lawsuit is seeking compensation and punitive damages for consumers who are impacted. If you’re eligible, you can file this form. (Battery power to the people.) Montreal Gazette
• Mind Reader
Your smartphones might soon get even smarter (a scary prospect, we know). Elon Musk has plans to insert Bluetooth-enabled implants into human brains, with the goal of enabling telepathy (so your phone will function as a literal mind reader…gulp). The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX said his Neuralink mechanism will consist of a miniature chip with a USB-C port that will connect via bluetooth to a smartphone. The best part? The device will also be instrumental in helping stroke victims, those with memory loss, cancer patients, quadriplegics or other congenital defects. CNN
• Spotted: GG Is Back
If you’re anything like us, you’ve been missing (and re-watching) Gossip Girl since its final episode aired in 2012. Well, the teen drama is making a comeback: in a 10-episode season, the new show will follow a group of Manhattan elite kids, but no word yet on who will be casted. Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the original creators and producers, are on board for the second iteration of the show, which is set to air on HBO Max in 2020. XOXO, see you then. E! Online
📖👀🎧 THE WEEKEND PLAYLIST
Say goodbye to one of the best television series of all time by re-reading this special collector’s edition of A Game of Thrones, with illustrations by Jonathan Burton.
The day we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived: The Lion King remake (starring our beloved Queen Bey) is in theatres.
Getting married or know someone who is? Our favourite betches just launched a new podcast, aptly titled Betches Brides, covering every step of the process, from engagement ring to honeymoon.
• Do-Do-Do-Do Not Sleep Here
If you don’t have kids, there’s one song that’s bound to make you reach for the earplugs — and that song’s “Baby Shark.” (See? It’s probably already stuck in your head.) But one city in Florida is hoping it’ll have a more permanent effect. West Palm Beach, FL., is testing playing a continuous loop of children’s songs (including the aforementioned “Baby Shark” and another ear-jerker, “Raining Tacos”) in an attempt to keep the homeless from sleeping on the patio of a city-owned rental banquet facility. Associated Press
• Celebrating the Man
Today is Mandela Day, an international celebration to honour the late Nelson Mandela. The day is marked every year on the South African anti-apartheid president, revolutionary and philanthropist’s birthday. The UN officially declared Mandela Day an international holiday in 2009.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• A Syphilis outbreak has been declared in Alberta, amid a sharp increase in the sexually transmitted infection.
• The WHO has officially declared an Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, after a confirmed case in Goma spurred fear of further spreading.
• Canada’s inflation rate fell 2% thanks to decreased gas prices.
• Sexual assault charges against actor Kevin Spacey have been dropped, after the alleged victim pleaded the Fifth Amendment (a section of the Bill of Rights that gives a person the right to refuse to answer questions or give testimony about himself).
• Cat Attack
We know this isn’t a joke, but it kinda feels like one.