Wednesday, August 07, 2019 View this email in your browser

Sound bites: Canada has committed $22-million to fight child exploitation online • India has voted to change Jammu and Kashmir from a state to a union territory • police found items directly linked to the B.C. fugitive teens • Toni Morrison passed away at the age of 88.



Canadian municipal and provincial police are getting $15-million to help fight child exploitation online, i.e. working with internet companies to quickly find and shut down child porn.

Start from the beginning.
Earlier this year, the government committed $22-million over three years toward fighting child pornography, with the majority of the money earmarked for local police internet child exploitation units. Other funds were reserved for raising awareness, making the legal system tougher against child porn, and working with online companies to make sure they don’t host the content. Last month, Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale met with colleagues from the U.S., Britain, Australia, and New Zealand – collectively known as the Five Eyes intelligence allies – and discussed new rules that would make giants like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft remove child porn from the internet quicker. Representatives from those companies also attended the meeting.


India’s government has voted to take away the rights of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) as a state and change it to two union territories: J&K and Ladakh (currently part of J&K).
What are you talking about?
India and Pakistan both claim Kashmir in its entirety but only control part of it. Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim-majority state in India that has operated under its own constitution and waved its own flag since 1949. The area has been able to make its own rules regarding residency, property ownership, and other rights, but because of its proximity to Pakistan, has also been the centre of often violent territorial feuds that have led to thousands of deaths.
So, what happened this week?
India’s parliament voted 370-70 to change J&K to a union territory. The controversial move will level the playing field for the rest of India and open up the area for non-residents to purchase property. Critics, like Pakistan and China, argue that the decision weakens the democracy of the country, especially since the government didn’t consult any of J&K’s lawmakers. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan accused India of ethnic cleansing and vowed to fight the decision at the UN Security Council. J&K has been put under curfew, there’s been an internet and phone blackout, and tens of thousands of troops have been sent to the area to prevent protests.


RCMP in Manitoba found items along the Nelson River directly linked to the alleged B.C. murderers. Reminder: a manhunt for Kam Mcleod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18 has been going on for weeks. The teens became suspects in a triple murder after 64-year-old Leonard Dyck of Vancouver was found dead near the Dease Lake, B.C. area. A few days before that, a young couple on a road trip to Alaska was found shot dead on the Alaska highway. The last place the teens were spotted was in the Gillam, Manitoba area. On Friday, police found a damaged boat along with the items. An underwater search was carried out near Gillam, but no additional items were found, and the search was called off.


The literary world is mourning one of its pillars after it was announced yesterday that author Toni Morrison passed away at the age of 88. If you ever took an American Lit course in school, chances are, you read one of her many famous works. Morrison is probably best known for her 1987 book, Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and became a finalist for the National Book Award. Morrison was well-regarded for not just her revolutionary writing style, but also for her authentic, vivid and often graphic depictions of the lives and struggles of her African American characters. In 1993, she became the first African American woman to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature and was later honoured with a Presidential Medal of Freedom by former U.S. president Barack Obama.


A community in New Jersey rallied to save the home of its favourite neighbour. Lamar Harris suffers from developmental disabilities and has lived in Cherry Hill in Gloucester Township, NJ for 38 years with his family. But after the death of his father and brother in 2015 and 2016, Harris was unable to pay his property taxes and interest. When neighbours found out Harris was about to lose his home, they came together to launch a GoFundMe campaign to pay the $50,000 debt. Thanks to generous donations, enough money was raised in just a week not only to pay the debt but also to pay Harris’s taxes for the year! Talk about being neighbourly!


• A new Netflix series about Madam C. J. Walker will star Tiffany Haddish, Blair Underwood, and Carmen Ejogo. The four-part series will be produced by LeBron James and Octavia Spencer.

• Awkwafina answers 73 questions with Vogue.

The Rogers Cup officially kicked off with some of the best tennis players in the world.

• FX’s Atlanta was renewed for a fourth season.

• The latest instalment of American Crime Story, set to premiere weeks before the next U.S. election, will focus on Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Monica Lewinsky will be a producer on the show.

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