5 Things You Need to Know This Week

From Luigi's near death to Saudi Arabia, here's what you need to know.

1. RIP Luigi

After years and years of dodging blue shells and piranha plants, racing alongside Mario, Nintendo broadcast footage of the green Mario brother’s soul being ripped from his body. Fans were shocked by the fairly gruesome death of the beloved character, which occurred during Nintendo Direct, which is basically an online presentation of new trailers. During a trailer for fighting game Super Smash Bros Ultimate, people watched Luigi nervously walk into Dracula’s castle. He came face-to-face with a scythe-wielding Reaper, who caused him to faint in fear and gave the Reaper the chance to cut him in two. As soon as the internet started freaking out and mourning Ninentendo chimed in to say that Luigi, in fact, was okay. It’s questionable how Luigi can walk away unscathed after a soul severance but Nintendo has yet to comment.

2. Canada and Saudi Arabia

The diplomatic feud between Canada and Saudi Arabia is still lit as the two countries are trying to work out their differences. The US came out and said they will not step in and help Canada. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman said, “We can’t do it for them.” The biggest disagreement between Canada and Saudi in years started with a tweet on Friday: The Canadian Foreign Ministry said it was “gravely concerned” by the arrest of Saudi activist Samar Badawi and other women’s rights campaigners, and called for their release. What started as a simple statement has exploded into a full-blown dispute.

On Sunday, Saudi expelled the Canadian ambassador, froze new trade and investment dealings with Canada in retaliation for what it called “blatant interference” in its domestic affairs. It is also suspending Saudi Arabian Airline flights to and from Toronto and withdrawing an estimated 16,000 Saudi students from universities, colleges and other schools in Canada as part of what Saudi Arabia’s Education Minister described on Tuesday as an effort to “cut its dealings with the Canadian government.” However, oil shipments to Canada will not be affected – Saudi Arabia has a “firm and long-standing policy” that petroleum supplies are not influenced by political considerations

Phillipe Morin/CBC

3. BC Forest Fires

There are more than 450 wildfires burning across British Columbia, in case you were wondering where all this smoke is coming from. “We are looking at significant fire activity from one corner of our province to the other,” said Kevin Skrepnek, chief fire information officer with the B.C. Wildfire Service. Since Wednesday, there have been  44 new fires, most of which were sparked by lightning. Twenty-five of the 462 fires burning are considered wildfires of note, and 28,000 firefighters, including 100 out of province workers, are battling the fires. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said the wildfire season started later in the season but fires are much more widespread than last year.

Two fires in the northwestern part of the province continued to be top priority for the B.C. Wildfire Service as crews scramble to save buildings and infrastructure in the area of Telegraph Creek. On Tuesday the Alkali Lake fire burned through 27 structures in the town. Over 250 people have been unable to return home to the area.

4. New Oscar Category

The Oscars have added a new category to the award ceremony dedicated to popular movies and the internet is not happy about it. “Designed around achievement in popular film,”  it is the Oscars’ way of recognizing major blockbusters and other movies that do well at the box office as a substitute for them getting recognition in the existing categories. The changes came about because ABC wants to see improvment in the ratings of the Oscars telecast, which has been on a decline. This year’s Oscars had two really big problems. It was really long and nobody watched. 19% fewer people watched this year’s show than watched last year’s. The other major change announced was moving the date to earlier in February because people have “award show fatigue” by the time the Oscars roll around. Beginning in 2020 the show will be in early February.

5. Galaxy Watch

Samsung announced it’s latest addition to their smartwatch lineup, the Galaxy Watch. The smartwatch features more than 6,000 of new watch faces, including one that lets you keep track of the activity you perform over the course of your day. The new watch will have a new, high-resolution Super AMOLED display, a 360 x 360 pixel resolution with Corning’s Gorilla Glass DX+. They have included the technology to be able to leave your smartphone at home with full LTE capabilities along with the ability to tether your phone to the watch, like other smartwatches on the market. Like other smartwatches it will track your heart rate, activity, breathing, sleep schedule and everything else that you need. Samsung has also said that the watch will be able to run for a few days on a single charge. Did we mention it comes in rose gold? We’re into it. Pre-ordering will begin on August 24th and the watch will officially launch on September 21.



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