Sound bites: The founder of Nxivm was found guilty of running a sex cult • Trump reversed the Clean Power Plan in the U.S. • Canada resettled more refugees in 2018 than any other country in the world • four people were charged with murder for the flight MH17 crash.
NIP IT IN THE NXIVM
After six weeks of testimony, the founder of self-help group (read: sex cult) Nxivm (pronounced Nexium) was found guilty of seven charges related to sex trafficking, racketeering (shady business dealings), wire fraud, and forced labour.
Wait, what? Back up…
Keith Raniere founded the self-help group back in 2003 in New York, where he offered classes to thousands of women across Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. Within Nxivm, Raniere ran a private group called “DOS”, or “The Vow”. Women who were recruited by Reniere, and later on by other women (including Smallville actress Allison Mack, who already pled guilty), were forced to give Reniere “collateral” in the form of nude photos and sexual acts. And just to make it official, Raniere branded the women with his initials.
Ew. What did victims have to say?
That they were lied to when they were told they were joining a “women’s empowerment” group. Raniere’s defence argued the sex was consensual and that there was no trafficking because there was no buying or selling sex. Raniere is still sipping his own Kool-Aid, saying he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong and plans to appeal. Well, he better make it quick. His sentencing is scheduled for September 25th and he could face life in prison.
NO POWER, NO PLAN
Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency reversed a key clean energy program in the U.S. The Clean Power Plan (CPP), one of former President Barack Obama’s signature policies, was replaced with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) plan.
What’s the difference?
The CPP required all states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal power plants by 32%, which forced plants to switch from coal to natural gas and renewable energy, thereby reducing pollution. The ACE, on the other hand, makes carbon dioxide reduction a nice to have instead of a must-have, and aims to help boost the struggling coal industry – U.S. coal consumption has decreased by 39%. The changes will inevitably increase carbon emissions. FYI, Trump has always been a big supporter of coal miners, which is a bonus for someone looking to score brownie points in an upcoming election.
What happens next?
Lawsuits from environmental groups and states who see the rollback as detrimental to the climate. ICYMI, scientists have been giving us dire warnings about climate change, and Canada recently declared climate change a national emergency.
TOP OF THE PACK
Canada accepted and resettled more refugees in 2018 than any other country in the world. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) released its annual global trends report this week about forced displacement around the world. It showed that people fleeing from war, persecution, and conflict grew to over 70 million last year – the highest level since WWII. It also showed that Canada took 28,100 refugees in 2018, and ranked second for the number of refugees who gained citizenship. More than 2/3 of all refugees came from just five countries – Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, and Somalia.
BACK IN TIME
Four people were charged with murder for the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash that killed 298 people, including one Canadian. Reminder: flight MH17 was shot down in July 2014 by a Russian Buk missile. Russia has repeatedly denied having any involvement, even yesterday, when the Joint Investigation Team – made up of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine, and the Netherlands – called out three Russians – Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky, and Oleg Pulatov, and one Ukranian – Leonid Kharchenko. The four men are scheduled for trial in the Netherlands in March, but they likely won’t attend because both Russia and Ukraine prohibit extraditing nationals. In response to the news, Ukraine said it welcomes the findings and will try to arrest Kharchenko. But Russia said ‘no way,’ and argued that the findings were “absolutely unfounded accusations.”
A pup in Ireland is getting a lot of treats and belly rubs after proving his love for his owner. Like a scene straight out of Lassie, resident Irish good boy Jack led police to his elderly owner after he fell into a ditch on a walk and couldn’t get up. Police shared the cutest pic of Jack waiting outside an ambulance while his owner and best two-legged bud was being treated. We dare you not to “aww”.
WATCH LISTEN READ
• Talk about unrealistic expectations. Drake is Madame Tussauds newest wax resident.
• A Nearly Normal Family is a twisted thriller about love and murder.
• Keanu Reeves knows how to entertain. This behind-the-scenes video of Reeves filming his new role in Toy Story 4 is bound to make you giggle.
• Before releasing her new song Megatron tomorrow, Nicki Minaj teamed up with Trina on Baps, and Gucci Mane released his new song, Proud of You.
• Song on repeat: This City by Sam Fischer.
We’re setting up a merch store (eek!). To celebrate, we’re giving away a Pressed t-shirt, mug, sticker and giving a twitter shout out to the first person who gets 10 of their friends to sign up for Pressed! If you’ve already shared, you’re ahead of the pack – we’ll take your total number of shares and count them toward this contest. Use this button 👇🏼. *Contest ends Sunday, June 23rd.