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✨ Good morning! Today is Friday, November 8, 2019, and this is exactly the kind of news we like to hear.
• The Background
BULLETIN: FRIENDS FOR NOW
The U.S. and China have finally decided it’s time to make up. The two countries are close to striking an initial trade deal, following 19 months of tensions. Although negotiations are still in a preliminary phase, both administrations have agreed to roll back some of the tariffs placed on each other’s goods, which would greatly defuse the strain between the world’s two largest economies. The U.S. currently has tariffs on $360-billion worth of Chinese goods, and has recently threatened to add additional fines if trade issues between the two nations aren’t resolved. Likewise, China has imposed tariffs on 58% of imports from the U.S. New York Times
• What Else You Need to Know
In anticipation of a resolution in the near future, stocks surged after the Chinese government announced both countries agreed to remove some tariffs. The trade war between the U.S. and China has deeply disturbed the economies of several farm belt states, including Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska — all of which saw a decline in growth since the middle of 2018. The trade war also greatly impacted China, since U.S. tariffs currently cover more than two-thirds of the products it imports from the country.
• What’s Next?
The deal definitely signals a big step forward for all involved, providing assurance for businesses and consumers who have suffered in both countries.
• U.S.: Pay Up
President Donald Trump is being forced to shell out $2 million to several charities, after a New York judge claimed he misused his own charitable foundation to further his political agenda. (Sound familiar?) The penalty was imposed after Trump admitted to several abuses outlined in the lawsuit, including that the Trump Foundation fundraiser held for military veterans during the 2016 campaign violated state charity laws by conflating charity with politics. The president has been accused in multiple instances of using charitable funds for personal, political and business gains, as well as legal settlements and campaign contributions. ABC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of Nato.”
– French President Emmanuel Macron, claiming European countries can’t rely on the U.S. to defend their allies. Macron’s comments (and poor choice of words) drew harsh responses from both the U.S. and Germany. The Guardian
• Good Kush
Drake is officially breaking into the cannabis industry, announcing his partnership with Canopy Growth Corp on a joint venture called “More Life Growth Co.”, where they will sell recreational cannabis and accessories in Canada and around the world. The official announcement comes just days after Champagne Papi posted this on his Insta. Under the agreement, Drake will own a 60% stake in the company, while Canopy will own the remaining 40%. In addition to this brand partnership, Canopy has deals with BFFs Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart, and comedian Seth Rogen. The launch of More Life comes as the Canadian cannabis industry is suffering from lower-than-anticipated sales in the first year of legalization. BNN Bloomberg
• Breaking the Cycle
Iconic motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson, is breaking from its traditional models and offering up a new and exciting product. The company has been working for several years on a lineup of battery-powered bikes, including a motorcycle, regular bicycle and scooter-moped. Prototype versions and photos of the bikes have been revealed, and the company says the still-unnamed line will hit the market in 2020. (Get your motors running…) The Verge
• Seasons of Love
TV is telling more LGBTQ stories than ever, according to GLAAD’s annual, “Where We Are on TV” report. The media and advocacy organization found that 10.2% of characters who regularly appear on TV identify as LGBTQ — the highest percentage in the last 15 years. Also, LGBTQ women on primetime broadcast scripted series outnumbered men this year, 53% to 47%, which is the first time that’s happened since GLAAD started tracking inclusion numbers. Last year, GLAAD called on the networks to raise the number of LGBTQ characters in prime-time shows from 8.8% in 2018–2019 to 10% by 2020. Although there’s still a long way to go, these latest results likely made GLAAD, well, glad. Variety
• Yas, Queens!
HBO has officially ordered a new unscripted series called We’re Here, and let’s just say, we’re definitely here for it. The six-part show will follow three drag queens as they recruit people from small towns across the U.S. to participate in a one-night-only drag show. Guests featured in the episodes will be trained by three iconic drag queens, including Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara and Shangela Laquifa Wadley. The series is set to air in spring 2020. Deadline
• Old McDonald
Who hasn’t found an old french fry under the car seat now and again. But a burger, from the grunge era? That’s right — Australians Casey Dean and Eduards Nits own a 24-year-old quarter pounder with cheese that has never decomposed. (Yummy.) Even weirder than the ancient hamburger is the exceptionally strange relationship the two have developed with the patty — they refer to it as their “mate” and even wrote a song about it. (Now we’re starting to wonder if these guys haven’t at least taken a nibble of that burger.) CTV News
Exactly three years ago today, Donald Trump was (somehow) elected President of the United States, despite the fact that his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, received 2.9 million more votes than he did.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Six more protestors have died in Iraq, after security forces opened fire on demonstrators demanding political change.
• An alarming new study shows that more than 500 objects have been left in Canadian surgery patients over the last two years.
• Residents in Kansas City voted to remove Martin Luther King Jr.’s name from a historic street.
• The theme of next year’s illustrious Met Gala has been revealed: “About Time: Fashion and Duration.” The event will be hosted by Meryl Streep, Lin Manuel Miranda and Emma Stone.
• Herbal Remedies
This redefines the meaning of high tea.