We’ve lost our appetite

The UN releases a shocking report about the frightening future of food, a high-profile ambassador resigns and Canadian Tire is ready to party.

We’ve lost our appetite

The UN releases a shocking report about the frightening future of food, a high-profile ambassador resigns and Canadian Tire is ready to party.
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Good morning! Today is Friday, August 9, 2019 and this kid seriously has a need for speed.


• The Background

As if there wasn’t already enough cause for concern, the United Nations released a new scientific report claiming that a global food crisis could be in our not-so-distant future. The report outlines a vicious and destructive cycle: for one, agriculture will continue to be negatively affected by global warming and simultaneously, the ways in which humans produce food will continue to be a factor exacerbating climate change. Clearly, it’s a complicated relationship (aren’t they all?), since 13% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions are caused by food production, and food production is a direct culprit causing climate change. The 100 scientists who wrote the report predict that food will continue to get more expensive, scarcer and less nutritious. The Associated Press

• What Else You Need to Know

The central conclusion is that if global temperatures rise 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average, the risk of food shortages “are projected to be very high.” And the symptoms are already showing in some places. Millions in Zimbabwe are facing starvation after a severe drought that impacted food harvests. At a press conference yesterday, scientists put equal emphasis on the dire consequences and of the need to make societal changes (and fast).

• What’s Next?

The good news is there are things we can do. If people change their diets (especially by reducing red meat consumption and increasing intake of plant-based foods), the world could save as much as 15% of current emissions by mid-century. 


• Big Busts

In two major drug busts, Toronto police officers have charged 50 people and seized $45 million worth of illegal drugs. The two busts aimed at dismantling drug production and trafficking rings — known as Project Moon and Project Zen — were led by York Regional Police with the assistance of Canada Border Services Agency. The busts come just one day after 15 people associated with a motorcycle gang were arrested for a total of 195 charges for trafficking cocaine, meth and fentanyl throughout the Niagara, Sudbury and Ottawa regions. (Holy smokes.) CBC News 


• Canada: Bow Out

David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., has announced he’s resigning at the end of August in the hopes of pursuing a career in the private sector (we don’t blame him). Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a heartfelt statement, announcing the high-profile ambassador’s departure and thanking him for his foreign service. MacNaughton, who was a central figure in the new NAFTA negotiations and has held the position since March 2016, says he had long planned to leave his station ahead of the upcoming federal election. CTV News

• U.S.: Chilling Arrests

In what officials are calling the biggest single-state ICE operation, nearly 700 workers were arrested on Wednesday, ruthlessly separating parents from their children. In an almost complete reversal, though, half of the detained individuals were released yesterday and placed into proceedings before federal immigration courts, while the rest remain in detention facilities. A devastated 11-year-old girl told reporters “my dad didn’t do nothing, he’s not a criminal,” after being separated from her father. NBC News 


“Here we are years later, and I’m being blamed for the events of his life that are the product of his decisions — not mine.”

Taylor Swift, about her 2017 sexual-assault case against a radio DJ. In an interview with Vogue, Swift opens up about sexism, scrutiny and standing up for herself. 


• From Pliers to Party Hats

Hardware giant, Canadian Tire, is ready to party. Yesterday it reached a deal to purchase Party City Canada for $174.4 million. In the hopes of building its connection with millennial consumers, Canadian Tire will soon begin selling Party City’s product assortment online and in its existing 500 retail stores across the country. The struggling party supply chain has 65 Canadian retail locations in seven provinces, which will all be added to Canadian Tire’s Triangle Rewards Program. The iconic Canadian retailer predicts it will double Party City’s Canadian retail sales to $280 million by 2021. BNN Bloomberg 


• Special Delivery

Amazon is petitioning the Federal Aviation Administration to allow deliveries by drone. (We imagine this will make tracking lost packages slightly more difficult.) The drones will apparently fly autonomously (meaning nobody on the ground directing them), but each drone will be given a human operator when in the sky. The goal is to eventually scale down on the number of operators needed once Amazon demonstrates to the FAA that the drone program is safe and secure. The initial launch would focus mainly on sparsely populated areas (sorry, city-dwellers) and would only be active during good flying conditions. CNN


• Sports: Baller 🏀

Raptors coach Nick Nurse is taking Team Canada to the world stage less than two months after coaching the Raptors to their first NBA title. (Let’s go, Canada!) With just one game under his belt as head coach, Nurse led the Canadian men’s basketball team to victory against Nigeria Wednesday (the two teams face off again today in Winnipeg). The goal is to get the national team to the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics for the first time since 2000, which means Team Canada would have to place in the top seven at the World Cup. They head to Australia next week for a five-game exhibition, after which the World Cup roster is scheduled to be announced. CBC News


• Netflix Newbies

Step aside, HBO. Game of Thrones co-creators, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, have signed on the dotted line for a $200 million Netflix-exclusive deal to create movies and TV series for the streaming giant, which means axing their controversial Confederateseries with HBO and cutting ties with the company. It’s probably for the best, since Confederate was meant to depict what the world would look like if the American South had won the Civil War. Global News


• Moving Mountains

An 89-year-old woman, who had never seen a mountain range before, was given the gift of a lifetime when her grandson, Brad Ryan, decided to show her what she’d been missing. The woman (lovingly referred to as Grandma Joy) and her grandson embarked on their first road trip four years ago, which was followed by a recent excursion to Acadia National Park. Overall, the pair have taken a total of 29 mountain-viewing trips together. The best part: Ryan documented the life-changing trips on a Facebook page called “Grandma Joy’s Road Trip.” (We’re not crying, you’re crying.) Global News 


• Little Rascal

Here is a cautionary tale for parents who, from time to time, allow their kids to play on their cellphones. After just a few minutes alone with Siri, one sly youngster changed her mom’s email name to “Poop Your Pants”. The alias began appearing on all Laura Brown’s work emails, and she didn’t even notice for several weeks. We can’t decide if this child is brilliant or an evil mastermind (or both?). Oh, kids these days. Mirror


• Keep the Peace

Today is National Peacekeeper’s Day in Canada, an official day of remembrance and gratitude, honouring the brave Canadian veterans of military peacekeeping missions, past and present.


• Tensions remain high between India and Pakistan in a battle over the disputed region of Kashmir, sparking over 500 arrests and a communications blackout. 

• The leader of Italy’s League party has called for a snap election, claiming irreconcilable differences with coalition partners.  

•  Some lucky readers could be off the hook for credit card debt after Chase Bank wiped out all outstanding credit owed by Canadians users as part of its exit from the Canadian market.  

• Kraft is in crisis mode after spending the first half of 2019 stuck in an accounting scandal and a major slump in sales as people are opting for healthier food.

• Speaking of crisis, in its largest-ever quarterly loss and slowest-ever revenue growth, Uber lost $5.2 billion.

• Spirited fans celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ iconic Abbey Road album cover at the zebra crossing. 


• Right Round

We wish we could be this easily entertained

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