5 Things You Need to Know This Week

From safer opioid supply to Michael Cohen, here's what you need to know.
Source: Travis Lupick

1. Opioid Epidemic

The Public Health Agency released data showing opioid drugs were factors in more than 2,000 deaths in the first half of the year in Canada. Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said that there needs to be an increase in access to safer opioid supply. She said that a toxic drug supply is a key part to the opioid epidemic in Canada. According to Tam, “creating a safer opioid supply will require exploring what treatments people require. Canada needs an approach that accounts for factors including the stigma, trauma and discrimination associated with drug use.”

Figures were released yesterday that show 94% of the 2018 deaths were classified as “accidental poisonings” and nearly 72% were unintentional deaths involving highly toxic fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances. It is commonly mixed into opioids sold on the street so most people don’t know the potency of the drugs they take.

Source: CBC

Julie Jacobson, AP Images

2. Michael Cohen

President’s Trump former lawyer is headed to prison for three years – the longest term anyone has been sentenced connected to the President. He was sentenced after admitting he committed several crimes including campaign finance violations and lying to Congress. He apologized and admitted to the judge that “blind loyalty” to Trump led him to “cover up his dirty deeds.” During the 2016 elections, he used shell companies to make payments of $150,000 US and $130,000, respectively, to silence former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Cohen was sentenced to three years for the payments and two months for lying to Congress. He was also ordered to pay restitution of nearly $1.4 million and forfeit $500,000, and will pay a further $100,000 in fines. He received a lesser sentence for his cooperation in the Mueller investigation.

Shortly after Cohen was sentenced, federal authorities announced a deal not to prosecute the National Enquirer’s parent, American Media Inc, who acknowledged making the $150,000 payment to McDougal “in concert” with the Trump campaign. Prosecutors said the McDougal payment violated federal law against corporate campaign contributions.

Source: CBC

3.  Apple’s Developing In-House Modem

Recent job postings for Apple are suggesting that the company will be starting to build an in-house modem for its future iPhones. The job listings were first spotted by The Information and show that Apple is actively looking for cellular modem systems architects. They are even looking in San Diego which is where their rival Qualcomm is based. If Apple produced their own modems they would be able to cut its reliance on Intel for the iPhone’s cellular connectivity. Another reason for the tech giant to develop its own modem is to integrate the component into the design of its A-series chipsets – the processor that is already used in iPhones and iPads.

According to The Information’s report, the new modem would still be years away, with even Apple’s purported 5G iPhone slated for 2020 using Intel’s in-development 5G modem instead. The timing makes sense, if they are just starting to hire now, it would take a few years to be able to produce the hardware.

Source: The Verge


4. SAG Nominations

Very unsurprisingly, A Star is Born led the nominations for the 201925th Screen Actors Guild Awards with four nods including best ensemble, best male actor (Bradley Cooper), best female actor (Lady Gaga) and best supporting male actor (Sam Elliott). The other nominations for best ensemble, the SAG’s top award are Black PantherBohemian RhapsodyBlacKkKlansman and Crazy Rich Asians. This category is the most watched because usually (except for last year) one of the nominations wins best picture at the Oscars.

One of the surprising nods from SAG was Bohemian Rhapsody, a Freddie Mercury biopic that has been wildly popular amoungst audiences but was slammed by the critics. Turns out the SAG feels differently than the critics. Rami Malek was also nominated for best actor. The SAG Awards will be held January 29 – view the full list of noms here.

5. Steph Curry

The Golden State Warrior appeared on the podcast Winging It, along with fellow NBA stars Vince Carter, Kent Bazemore and Andre Iguodala where he said he doesn’t believe humans have been to the moon. As expected, his remarks caused a frenzy on social media, even garnering a response from astronaut Scott Kelly: “Steph, so much respect for you, but re the moon landing thing, let’s talk,” Scott said on social media. “DM me.” NASA chimed in saying they have plenty o’ evidence that the moon landing was indeed real. “We’d love for Mr. Curry to tour the lunar lab at our Johnson Space Center in Houston, perhaps the next time the Warriors are in town to play the Rockets,” NASA spokesman Allard Beutel said in a statement.

Yesterday, he told ESPN that he was joking when he said the moonlanding was fake: “Obviously I was joking when I was talking on the podcast,” Curry told ESPN, adding that his public silence was “protesting how stupid it was that people actually took that quote and made it law as, ‘Oh my God, he’s a fake-moon-landing truther,’ whatever you want to call it.”



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