Friday, July 12, 2019 View this email in your browser

Sound bites: Canada and the U.K. pledged millions of dollars to media freedom • an Air Canada flight made an emergency landing because of turbulence • Twitter is launching a hide replies function • R. Kelly was slapped with new charges.



Canada and the U.K. co-hosted a media freedom event in London, England this week. The two-day Global Conference for Media Freedom brought together 100 countries to discuss international funding and the importance of media freedom around the world.
What came out of it?
$5.25 million for the Global Media Defence Fund. Canada contributed $1 million and the U.K. the remaining $4.25 million. The fund will be managed by UNESCO and will support journalists through training as well as by helping imprisoned journalists get legal support. FYI, 99 journalists were killed last year and 348 imprisoned. A panel was also formed at the conference; a group of legal experts that will help governments establish laws that support media freedom and human rights. Amal Clooney (yep, George’s wife) was selected to lead the 16-member panel, and former justice minister Irwin Cotler was selected to represent Canada. Noticeably missing from the event: Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, and the Philippines.


An Air Canada flight from VanCity to Sydney, Australia had to make an emergency landing in Honolulu yesterday after experiencing harsh turbulence.

Literally my nightmare. Is everyone ok?
37 of the 269 passengers on board suffered minor neck and head injuries – no doubt from when the plane suddenly dropped in the air (and people weren’t wearing seatbelts). Passengers said people literally hit the ceiling of the cabin when the turbulence struck and that it felt as if the plane “whipped in the air.” The route the Boeing 777 was flying through is particularly known for its turbulence. Planes are designed to handle a lot of it, but obvs, it’s still a terrifying experience, and just another reminder to stay buckled up throughout an entire flight, folks. Thankfully, medical staff were on the tarmac when the plane landed, and Air Canada made hotel and flight arrangements for the passengers.


Twitter is testing out a new feature in Canada. Starting next week, users will be able to hide replies to their tweets. The new feature is an alternative to blocking or muting an account. Hiding a reply doesn’t mean it will be deleted, however, it will just be hidden from a thread. People will still be able to click a ‘hide reply’ icon to see all the replies. Since Twitter is a public place where conversations happen in real-time, it’s experimenting with giving users more control over their conversations. It’s necessary during highly charged times like elections when people have plenty of comments to make to politicians. FYI - Canada is going to the polls in October which means Prime Minister Trudeau and other candidates will be able to hide your angry replies to their tweets.


R. Kelly was slapped with 13 new charges in Chicago last night, including child pornography, sex crimes, and obstruction of justice. These are in addition to the dozens of charges you heard about earlier this year – 11 sex-related charges in connection with a victim under the age of 16, and 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse related to four women, three of whom were underage when the alleged abuse took place. Kelly has denied all the accusations. The singer’s team is expected to address the latest charges in a press conference this morning at 9:30 a.m.


Be My Eyes is an app as good for the community as it is good for the soul. The free app allows users (and companies) to volunteer to receive FaceTime calls from people with no to low vision. Calls are placed when the sight-impaired individual needs help “seeing” for a task. Whether it’s picking the right item at the grocery store or helping to navigate a new area, Be My Eyes helps the visually impaired person retain their independence, and volunteers get the satisfaction of knowing they’ve done a good deed.


• Early prediction: No.6 Collaborations Project will be No.1 on the charts for a while. Here’s Ed Sheeran’s new collab album.

• More new music for your summer playlist: the remix to the remix of Old Town Road, French Montana and City Girls on Wiggle It, Mike Posner’s Look What I’ve Become, and new Eve.

• Drake’s OVO Fest released its lineup and it will either make you feel really old or really young.

Here’s a sneak peek of The Hustlers movie starring Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo, Cardi B, and Constance Wu.

• Young Billie Eilish was Justin Bieber’s biggest fan. Today, they have a song together.

The Lion King soundtrack is out and it features songs by Elton John and Beyoncé. Listen to it before the movie hits theatres next week.

• The winners of Wimbledon will be decided this weekend. The Men’s Singles Semi-finals start today and the Women’s Singles Final between Serena Williams and Simona Halep is tomorrow.

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