Sound bites: Democrats want Alex Acosta to resign • the Attawapiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency over dangerous water • a carbon monoxide leak in Winnipeg forced an evacuation • Bombardier is laying off 550 people in Ontario • actor Rip Torn died yesterday at 88.
ACOSTA DOING BUSINESS
Democrats in the U.S. like Nancy Pelosi are demanding the resignation of President Trump’s labour secretary Alex Acosta. His name may sound familiar because it’s directly tied to another name making headlines: Jeffrey Epstein.
Fill me in.
10 years ago, Acosta was the U.S. Attorney in Florida involved in a secret deal that helped multi-millionaire Epstein avoid federal charges in a case concerning minors. The initial investigation began when the parents of a 14-year-old reported Epstein to police in 2005. Epstein was charged the following year. At the time, Acosta gave Epstein a 'sweetheart deal' - i.e. Epstein went to jail for a few months but could leave to go to work six days a week. 10 years later, Epstein is back in the news. On Monday, U.S. prosecutors in New York accused Epstein of sex trafficking and detailed how he lured dozens of young girls to his luxury homes and coerced them into performing sex acts. Epstein has pleaded not guilty. Acosta is also making headlines because he seemingly gave preferential treatment to Epstein.
What does Trump think of all this?
He’s standing by his man, saying "I can tell you that for two and a half years, he's been just an excellent secretary of labour.”
POISON THE WELL
The Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario declared a state of emergency over their long-standing issue with a tainted water supply.
What are you talking about?
The community confirmed through testing that their drinking water is reaching dangerously high levels of trihalomethanes (THM) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), which are produced when chlorine mixes with organic materials during the disinfection process. Prolonged exposure can increase the risk of cancer as well as irritate the skin. Boiling the water can’t even get rid of the chemicals and when left standing, they can enter the air. Residents have been warned to use ventilators when running the tap, to avoid hot water when showering (because it opens up pores), and to stop washing food with tap water.
This is crazy! What’s being done to help?
Attawapiskat Chief Ignace Gull has asked Indigenous Services Canada to send free water bottles to the 2,000 people in the community because many can’t afford to buy their own. A spokesperson for Indigenous Services Canada said it’s “a top priority” and that a health official and a technical team are heading to the community next week. The only solution according to 2008 and 2011 studies is to switch the area’s water source entirely to one with less organic material – which could cost between $300 million and $400 million over 20 years. It’s just another blow to a government that’s dealing with water crises in First Nations communities across the country.
ALARMS SAVE LIVES
A carbon monoxide leak at a Super 8 in Winnipeg forced the evacuation of all guests and staff. A leak in the boiler room prompted an alarm to sound around 10 a.m. local time. Ambulances and eight fire trucks showed up to evacuate the hotel, and of the 52 people inside, 46 were sent to the hospital, 15 in critical condition and five unstable. Most have since been discharged and there were no deaths. The carbon monoxide level was apparently 385 ppm – it’s dangerous at only 10 ppm. Haven’t checked your alarms in a while? Now is a good time.
Bombardier is laying off 550 people - half of its workforce - at its Thunder Bay, Ontario plant. Bombardier is one of the biggest train and airplane manufactures in the world with headquarters in Montreal and offices around the world. It’s currently the provider of streetcars for the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) and rail cars for the Metrolinx Go Transit. But once those contracts end later this year, the company doesn’t have any other major contracts lined up, hence the cuts. Bombardier is a significant contributor to the employment rate but has a bit of a reputation problem. Customers in Canada, France, and Switzerland have complained about the company’s late shipments and faulty products. In 2017, Metrolinx cut its $770-million deal with Bombardier by slashing the number of vehicles it acquired to 76 from 182 and signed on with Bombardier’s competition instead. In 2018, the TTC sent back more than half of the streetcars delivered by Bombardier for repairs.
Actor Rip Torn died yesterday in his home in Connecticut. He was 88. Torn is best known for his role in the Larry Sanders Show, but you may know him from Men In Black or as the voice of Zeus in Disney’s Hercules. The Emmy Award winner served in the U.S. Army after university then moved to California before heading to New York to appear on Broadway.
It’s true that not all heroes wear capes, but Chris Van Dorn always does just for good measure – especially when he’s out saving animals. Chris founded rescue org Batman4Paws to help transport animals to their new foster or furever homes – wherever they may be. And, as you can guess, when he’s out saving shelter animals from the euthanasia list, he’s dressed as his fave caped crusader. And obvs, he’s now ours too. Next up for Chris is to raise enough money to buy a plane so he can use his private pilot’s license to extend his life-saving mission to the skies!
WATCH LISTEN READ
• Kanye West is Forbes’ latest cover story. Go inside West’s home and mind here.
• Lady Gaga says it herself, the last thing the world needs is another beauty brand. And yet, here we are.
• Ariana Grande talks life and healing in her cover story with Vogue. Watch the cover video here.
• Nicki Minaj cancelled a show in Saudi Arabia to show support for women and the LGBTQ community.
• Mark Ronson’s Find U Again with Camila Cabello now has a music video.
• Psst… our Women in Media Night is SOLD OUT! Can’t wait to see you next week! In the meantime, follow along on our IG for contests and giveaways.
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