Thursday, June 27, 2019 View this email in your browser
 

Sound bites: Canadian airports are going paperless • hundreds of Wayfair employees staged a walkout • Canada named two far-right groups terrorist organizations • Democratic presidential debates kicked off yesterday.
 

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(PAPER)LESS IS MORE

Starting in 2020, Canucks flying out of Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport and Toronto’s Pearson International airport with a destination in the Netherlands will be able to do so without any paper – yep, not even a passport!
 
Um, so cool!
The initiative is part of a pilot project aimed at making air travel as seamless (and painless) as possible. Border authorities, airports, and airlines jumped on board with the plan that will allow flyers to use a “Known Traveller Digital Identity.” The platform will link travellers to their government-issued documents – like a passport. Your personal info will be encrypted on your mobile device, and biometrics (i.e. your fingerprint) will be used to confirm your identity at every checkpoint on your trip. Over time, you’ll establish your own “known traveller status”. 
 
Yas! So, why the change?
It’s all a numbers game. Experts estimate that the number of people flying internationally could jump by 50% by 2030, bringing the total number of travellers to a whopping 1.8 billion. With that many people passing through airports and security checks, the faster they can move through, the better. And now, we might just have the tech to do it.


WAYFAIR WALKOUT

Yesterday, employees of online retailer Wayfair walked out in protest of the company’s decision to sell $200,000 worth of furniture to a government contractor that runs a detention centre for migrant children in Texas. 
 
Yikes. Tell me more.
ICYMI, migrant children have been kept in atrocious living conditions. At a Border Patrol facility in Texas, children were found sleeping on concrete bricks, having gone days without a shower. Older kids tried to comfort toddlers, and some children caught the flu but weren’t given medical attention. The kids had either arrived alone in the U.S. or were separated from their relatives. Democratic Senator Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went so far as to call the detention centres concentration camps. Since 2018, six children have died from being held at Border Patrol. But that’s just one of many detention centres in the U.S. along the border with Mexico.
 
And Wayfair?
Hundreds of Wayfair employees and customers gathered near the company’s HQ in Boston. 500 employees signed a protest letter after learning that the company is making a profit from selling beds to Baptist Children’s Family Services, a non-profit that manages the border patrol facility. The company’s response was a shrug emoji, saying “we believe it is our business to sell to any customer who is acting within the laws of the countries within which we operate.” Wayfair offered to donate $100,000 to the Red Cross.


NEW TO THE LIST

Canada just added two far-right groups to its list of terrorist organizations. During an announcement yesterday in Regina, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Blood and Honour – a Neo-Nazi network – and its armed branch, Combat 18, were added to the list. Blood and Honour has a presence in Canada and around the world – in 1998, four members of the group murdered two homeless men they considered “inferior,” and in 2011, two members were charged over alleged attacks on visible minorities, including setting a Filipino man on fire. They were later found not guilty. Recognizing Blood and Honour as a terrorist organization is mostly a symbolic thing, but it means authorities can block financial resources, seize property, and overall, make it easier for the group to be prosecuted. This is the first time a far-right group has been added to the list.


LET THE GAMES BEGIN

The race for the White House has begun. Democratic presidential debates kicked off last night with 10 candidates. Reminder: there are a whopping 25 Democratic candidates running, which means the first debate had to be split up into two nights. Another 10 Dems will debate tonight. This is a big deal because whoever comes out as the Dems representative will likely battle against Trump in the 2020 election. The topics that dominated last night’s debate were health care, guns, abortion, and immigration (see: U.S.-Mexico border). Speaking of immigration, a heartbreaking photo spread across the internet yesterday of a drowned man and his daughter who were trying to cross into the U.S.



GOOD NEWS

A 13-year-old boy from Maryland is using his passion for baking to sweeten the lives of the less fortunate. Michael Platt started his own baking business, Michaels Desserts when he was 11, and since then, he has donated one tasty treat for every pastry bought by a customer. A couple of times every month, Platt heads to Washington, D.C. to hand out his desserts to dozens of adults, children, and families in need.


WATCH LISTEN READ

• People are not impressed with Kim Kardashian for trademarking Kimono, her new shapewear line.

• Check out Cardi B’s music video for Press (FYI, this video is NSFW).

Justin Bieber and Ink teamed up with Chris Brown on a new summer slow jam, Don’t Check On Me.

• After a 13-year hiatus, The Dixie Chicks are back in the recording studio.

• The seventh and final season of Orange is the New Black is set for July 26th.

• If you want to read a really engaging interview, check out this piece with Alanis Morissette talking about pregnancy at age 45.


Exciting news today at 10 am ET on our Instagram.



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