Thursday, August 01, 2019 View this email in your browser

Sound bites: 10 more Democrats took the stage for presidential debates • the U.S. may soon import prescription drugs from Canada • police are scaling down efforts to find the teen fugitives • Woodstock 50 has been cancelled.



Round two of the Democratic debates was held yesterday, and all eyes were on California Senator Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden. FYI, 20 Democrats are vying for the opportunity to lead the Democratic party against President Trump. 10 debated on Tuesday night, and 10 battled it out last night: Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, Andrew Yang, Bill de Blasio, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Harris, and Biden.

How did it go this time?
Right off the bat, Biden was criticized for greeting Harris by saying “go easy on me, kid.” Harris snapped back and called Biden out for changing his mind on abortion funding. But it wasn’t just Harris vs. Biden. Senator Gillibrand also went after Biden in a tense exchange about an op-ed he wrote in 1981 about women working outside the home. Despite all that, Biden had the most speaking time, followed by Harris, and he remains the frontrunner. All the candidates spoke about the urgency to deal with climate change and had different versions of how they would deal with it if they became president. Biden ended the night with a statement asking people to choose “science over fiction, hope over fear,” alluding to Trump’s opposing narratives. Here’s what the other candidates had to say. 
Why did Clorox get dragged into this?
You can thank Gillibrand for that. When asked about a climate change deal, Gillibrand responded by saying that the first thing she’d do as president is “Clorox the oval office.” A burn directed at Trump.

Any Surprises?
Businessman Andrew Yang. While he had the least amount of airtime, his well-articulated plan made sense to people. He made good points, like setting the record straight that more workers are replaced by robots than immigrants. Other surprises included Senator Booker and Congressman Castro, who used their closing statements to call for Trump’s impeachment.


The U.S. is looking into allowing its citizens to order prescription drugs at cheaper prices from Canada.
Um, ok. Explain.
President Trump’s team announced yesterday that they’re drawing up a way for Americans to safely import medication from Canada. Why? ‘Cause our drugs are way cheaper, and America is currently dealing with an all-too-powerful pharmaceutical industry that sets astronomical prices without input from the government. The Canadian government, on the other hand, can negotiate drug prices with drug manufacturers to keep meds somewhat affordable. 
So, wait. Is this good news?
Depends on who you ask. It’s definitely positive for Americans, ‘cause hi, meds save lives. And, more competition for American manufacturers could encourage lower prices. But critics in Canada are worried the excess demand will burden the country’s already strained supply of prescription drugs. Others are accusing the U.S. of freeloading off of Canada’s system instead of fixing issues at home. There’s also the issue of an increased risk of counterfeit drugs making their way into American hands. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will play a key role in ensuring only the legit stuff makes its way across the border.


Canada’s most wanted teens are still on the run, but it looks like the police are scaling back their search. It’s been over a week since Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19 were declared suspects in a triple murder. Reminder: on July 15th, a young couple on a road trip to Alaska was found shot dead on the Alaska highway. A few days later, 64-year-old Leonard Dyck of Vancouver was found dead near the Dease Lake, B.C. area. The last place the teens were spotted was in the Gillam, Manitoba area, where their burnt-out Toyota was found. Police have since searched more than 500 homes and buildings and looked into over 250 public tips. But, no luck. The military has been called off and the RCMP in Manitoba will slowly be scaling back officers this week. Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said the search is not over, however. Officers will continue to follow up on tips and be strategic about their search.


Woodstock 50 has been cancelled. For real this time. The music festival was supposed to take place on Aug 16-18, on the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock, but finally called it quits after months of venue and money troubles. It also missed a bunch of deadlines – saying it was going to release ticket sales in January but delayed until April – and lost a key investor. Lead producer Michael Lang, who helped produce 1969 Woodstock, said he wanted to honour the festival’s “values of peace and tolerance.” Woodstock 50 finally landed a venue last week, but it was too little too late. Headlining acts like Miley Cyrus and Jay-Z had already pulled out. But there will be a 50th-anniversary celebration of the OG music festival. A competing festival called Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival will take place on the original site of Woodstock and feature stars like Ringo Starr and Santana.


Volunteers in Ethiopia just planted 350 million trees in 12 hours. In addition to doing good for the environment, the feat nabbed the country a world record. Called the “Green Legacy” initiative, the aim is to re-tree areas of Ethiopia’s land damaged by deforestation. Started by the country’s PM, Abiy Ahmed, the program’s end goal is to plant 4 billion trees by the end of October, and according to the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, 2.6 billion are already in the ground. Keep it up!


• Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci star in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.

• Spoilers ahead. Leonardo DiCaprio & Quentin Tarantino talk in-depth about the main character of their movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

• Sabrina Claudio debuted her new single, Holding the Gun.

• Kanye West is on to a new venture: domes. The architectural domes are meant to break down class barriers and create a new housing community in Calabasas, California. Stunt or real?

Happy first day of August!