What a royal pain

POTUS touches down in the U.K., Amazon announces a new streaming video service, and Apple makes a big change to its services.

What a royal pain

POTUS touches down in the U.K., Amazon announces a new streaming video service, and Apple makes a big change to its services.

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Good morning! Today is Tuesday, June 4, 2019, and this is the kind of news that’s going to make your day.


• The Background

President Donald Trump kicked off day one of his three-day state visit to the U.K. by reigniting a political feud with London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan. Moments before Air Force One touched down, the Twitter tirade began with Trump calling the mayor a “stone cold loser.” Khan fired back, saying “childish insults should be beneath the president of the United States.” There were also various anti-Trump protests scattered around London, which the president downplayed by tweeting about “the tremendous crowds of well-wishers.” Despite the drama, though, Trump’s day in London was fit for a king. The Hill

• What Else You Need to Know

The official portion of the visit began with a warm welcome at Buckingham Palace, including a handshake and smile from the Queen herself. Members of British royalty greeted the Trumps, treating them to lunch and a sumptuous state banquet at the palace. The Trumps also placed a wreath at Westminster Abbey, where England’s queens and kings are crowned, married and laid to rest, and shared afternoon tea with Prince Charles and Camilla.

• What’s Next?

Today is all about politics. Trump will meet with the outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May, in what’s sure to be a contentious meeting. May has confirmed she plans to discuss the issue of climate change with the president.


• Sudan Slaughter

At least 30 people were killed and hundreds more injured by Sudanese security forces, who used live ammunition to break up the weeks-long protests in the capital of Khartoum. The protesters have been fighting to regain power for civilians, a major issue in the region since the new military came into power in April. The massacre is drawing global attention, and the UN has publicly condemned Sudan’s security forces. This marks the deadliest day since former Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir was removed from office. Al Jazeera


• Canada: Slow Senate

Two years after it first passed in the House of Commons, Bill C-337 mandating sexual assault training for judges just passed through Senate as of last night. We’d say better late than never, but the Canadian government has really let this one idle; after Rona Ambrose saw it pass through the Commons two years ago, it was another year before senators deemed it worthy of debate, and a full year after that for Senate to schedule last night’s meeting to discuss potential amendments which, inspired by a similar P.E.I. bill, might include paring down the language around the practicality of, essentially, holding judges accountable for their rulings in sexual assault cases. (Um, what?) Senate apparently wants to pass it before summer; the House is scheduled to rise on June 21 (so they’d better get a move on). National Post

• U.S.: Federal Flight

Another one’s flown the coop — President Trump tweeted on Sunday that his chief economist, Kevin Hassett, would be leaving his post, which he’s had since September 2017. Hassett informed CNN that he wasn’t asked to step down and that it’s normal for the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) chairman to step down after two years (begging the question that, if it’s so normal, why does he have to reassure everyone that it is?). Interestingly, the announcement comes after Hassett refused to endorse Trump back in April when Trump wanted the Federal Reserve to slash interest rates. (The main role of CEA chairman is to offer the POTUS objective advice on domestic and international economic policy, but we all know how Trump takes advice…) It’s currently unknown when Hassett will officially leave his post, and Trump has stated he will name Hassett’s replacement once he returns from his state visit to the U.K. CNN


‘If he’s a billionaire now, imagine what he’s about to be, because he’s only just starting.”

– Music producer Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean, on the news that Jay Z has officially become the first hip hop artist to reach billionaire status. Forbes


• Cable Comeback

There’s been an obvious decline in cable television since the dawn of Netflix, Crave and Prime Video, but the traditional way of streaming TV could be making a comeback. Amazon is launching a new streaming service in Canada, specifically designed to mimic cable TV. Prime Video subscribers will have the option to purchase access to an array of 13 networks of live and on-demand programming. Those who have ditched traditional cable and satellite providers will soon, for the first time, regain access to several popular channels. Corus Entertainment also announced its new multi-channel TV package, STACKTV, as part of Amazon’s Prime Video Channels launch. The only thing missing from the juiced-up bundles: news and sports channels, which are choosing to sit out the launch entirely. CBC News


• iTunes is iOver

The most iconic music streaming service (aside from Limewire — major throwback) is finally retiring after 18 years. iTunes will be replaced with three new standalone desktop apps for music, videos and podcasts, in an attempt to make it easier to implement iPad and iPhone apps on Mac laptops. The new system for Macs will mimic the individual apps currently used for music, video and podcasts on iPhones and iPads. At its annual developer conference, which spans over the next four days, Apple Inc. is expected to reveal new tools to make it easier for developers to put their apps on Macs without needing to rewrite the code. Financial Times


• Running: Off to the Races

Olympic gold medallist and prominent female runner, Caster Semenya, has been cleared to compete in all running events without being required to take testosterone-reducing medication. This court ruling comes after the IAAF (athletics’ governing body) implemented a policy in April requiring athletes with a difference in sex development to take medication to reduce testosterone levels. Semenya, who is hyperadrogenous and has elevated levels of testosterone, brought her case to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland after an appeal was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sports in May. Semenya can now run free while her appeal is pending. CNN


• Planeswalkers Programming

Directors of the saga-ending film, Avengers: Endgame, have a new and exciting project underway: remodelling the 26-year-old collectible card game Magic: The Gathering into a Netflix series. Based on the popular fantasy franchise, the new animated series will mark the first time Magic is brought to life on screen. Release date and other details have yet to be announced. Entertainment Weekly


• Bad Teacher

In a true school trip scandal, a Louisiana Catholic school principal was arrested at a Washington, D.C. strip club amid a school-sponsored field trip to the capital. The police report alleges officers responded to “an intoxicated man refusing to pay his bill.” He was arrested for public intoxication and possession of an open container of alcohol. The principal, who was chaperoning 7th and 8th graders, later resigned from his position (clearly, running a Catholic school was not his calling). The 47-year-old man also worked (shockingly) as a part-time police officer for the local police department. USA Today



• Cheese, Please!

It’s National Cheese Day, people. That’s right, a day dedicated to ooey, gooey goodness and one of mankind’s all-time favourite foods. So get cheesy, and try out one of these epic recipes for cheese-lovers.


• In the midst of the MMWIG’s final report, the Liberals announced a $300-million investment in women’s equality both at home and abroad. 

• Canada’s pulled its diplomats out of Venezuela and suspended operations at its embassy, as the Maduro regime cracks down on any opposition. 

• Is this proof that the King of the North is staying in the North? Rumour has it Kawhi Leonard just bought a house in Toronto

• There’s going to be a familiar face on the final season of Suits. Patrick J. Adams (also known as Mike Ross/Meghan Markle’s on-screen hubby) just announced he’s going back to the legal drama.

• He almost did it. Jeopardy phenom James Holzhauer fell just $58K short of beating Ken Jennings’ $2.52 million record.  


• Checkmate

We’re checking (pun intended) all our drawers for one of these.

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