Sound bites: The officer involved in Eric Garner’s death will not be charged • Ursula von der Leyen was officially voted in as President of the European Commission • Tim Hortons is opening an innovation hub • the House of Representatives condemned President Trump’s racist tweets.
NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE
Today is the fifth anniversary of Eric Garner's death. The 43-year-old died shortly after being taken down by police in Staten Island, New York in 2014. He was allegedly being arrested for selling loose cigarettes. You may remember this viral video showing a white police officer taking Garner (who is black) down by the neck while Garner is yelling “I can’t breathe.”
I remember this. So sad.
Well, it’s coming up again because yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said that it’s not filing criminal charges against the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who grabbed Garner by the neck. The investigation has been ongoing for several years – in 2014, a jury in Staten Island let Pantaleo off the hook, and the officer has been on paid desk leave ever since. Yesterday’s decision was made by U.S. Attorney General William Barr (this William Barr), who was following the recommendation of New York prosecutors.
But there was a video!
True, but this particular case was a civil rights investigation. In the end, the DOJ said Pantaleo didn’t intend to violate Garner’s civil rights when he took him down and therefore didn’t deserve criminal charges. There is still another trial that could cost Pantaleo his job. But now that criminal charges are off the table, protests are expected in the coming days.
Germany’s (now former) defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, is taking over the post of President of the European Commission. In this role, von der Leyen will be head of the European Union’s executive branch and will be responsible for things like proposing and enforcing new laws for member nations and managing the EU’s budget. Von der Leyen also gets snaps for being the first female ever to be elected to the position. The 60-year-old garnered support with her stance on climate change, saying she’d work to get Europe to “climate-neutral” by 2050. She also said she would add violence against women to the list of crimes in the EU and would pitch a “new pact on migration and asylum” to help EU nations share the overwhelming number of refugees entering their borders.
This is great news!
Well, not everyone is on board. Germany’s Social Democratic party isn’t cool with the fact that EU leaders dismissed other top candidates for the job before nominating von der Leyen. She was voted through with 383 votes, just nine more than the minimum. Either way, von der Leyen will assume the top spot when the current EU president, Jean-Claude Juncker, steps down on Oct. 31st.
Tim Hortons is opening its first-ever innovation hub. The company’s first high-end cafe will “test new menu items and technology initiatives.” The hub will introduce Tim’s new menu offerings like premium sandwiches, 12 new donuts including Maple Bacon, and 7 new types of coffee including Tim’s Draft Latte. The space is designed with hockey in mind, celebrating Horton’s hockey roots. It opens its doors on July 25th in Toronto. The iconic Canadian brand has been trying to keep up with consumer trends. It recently introduced Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches and is testing straw-less lids. The new cafe will serve coconut and oat milk to really drive home the point that Tim’s is keeping up with the times.
CALL IT WHAT IT IS
The House of Representatives (which is majority Democrats) voted to officially condemn President Trump’s racist tweets against four Democratic congresswomen of colour. ICYMI, on Sunday, Trump fired up his Twitter fingers and criticized “Progressive Democrat Congresswomen” by telling them to “go back and help fix the broken and crime-infested places from which they came.” While he didn’t name any names, it’s believed that his comments were aimed at “the squad,” i.e. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Most people said, hey, this smells like racism. But Trump doesn’t think so. The House of Reps "strongly condemns President Donald Trump's racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of colour."
Scientists are getting closer to being able to screen people for signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. At an international conference this week, researchers revealed that their research into blood testing for signs of dementia had an accuracy of 88%! While a cure hasn’t been found yet, predicting early onset of dementia could drastically improve a patient’s quality of life.
Ever wonder why your lips don’t look as smooth as Kylie Jenner’s (she’s the billionaire). No, of course not. Because you use NIU BODY lip scrubs. This Canadian skincare brand makes 100% natural, certified cruelty-free and vegan products. Support the female founders here.
If you were at our Women in Media Night on Monday, then you’ll agree that Bisha Hotel is a must-visit if you’re in Toronto. The swanky hotel/residence has doormen who refuse to let you open your own doors and a lobby that makes you feel like Angelina Jolie. Not convinced? Check out their rooftop patio.