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babad's weekend

A different look at the news

  • Kiss me, I like Trump
  • A Titanic scene I'd love to see
  • B.C. opens safe injection sites
  • A young Syrian's story
  • Notley warns on pipeline project
  • Viola Desmond to grace banknote
  • A young Syrian's story
  • CIBC deal hits a snag
  • A Star Wars scene I'd love to see
  • What to watch and read this weekend
  • What to watch for in the coming days

The past week

If you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, there are some alternatives.

You could switch political parties. You could stop talking about how much you adore Donald Trump over that glass of Champagne. Or if you really want to get lucky, try some like-minded potential partners.

And thus we bring you, a dating site for people no one else wants to be with.

I found it not because I was looking to date a right-winger, but because I was reading a news report from Agence France Presse, all about how such sites are springing up given the divisive nature of America.

“I thought it was actually a nice idea because I’ve heard so many stories of people going on dates, and everything is going fun and the political talk starts and kills any chance of a relationship happening,” the creator of the site, David Goss, told the news agency, which boasts of “making dating great again.”

I obviously didn’t sign up, so I couldn’t delve into the profiles on the site. But I did do a quick scan of those between the ages of 18 and 90, within 50 miles of Seattle.

On the guy side, there’s are profiles of a man who apparently is a decorated war hero, another in a cowboy hat, yet another in army fatigues, someone with an assault rifle, one dressed in camouflage holding a deer’s head by its antlers, a few really old men, and a really cool-looking long-haired gent named Noberto.

Oh, and one man who posted a selfie of himself with Bill Clinton. Obviously, when it comes to Bill Clinton, presumably it doesn’t matter what your politics are.

Searching for women on the site is a lot of fun: There’s one holding up a “Veterans for Trump” sign, another who’s wrapped in an American flag, there’s a female version of the gun-totin’ guy, a woman who Photoshopped her face onto the Mona Lisa, and another in a cut-off T-shirt blaring “Hotties for Trump.” There’s also a lady with something emblazoned across her chest. But she posted it backwards, so I don’t know what it says.

And, one 30-year-old named Bambi, who hasn’t been active on the site since June 29, about a week after she signed up. So either she found a Trump love really fast, or she hasn’t had a date since the summer.

Yes, the other side has a site, too, but it’s not really up and running yet, so I couldn’t meet the lefty candidates. It’s now called Progressives Meet, former, which started out on Facebook and promises to be up and running early next year.

“We grew so quickly, our site couldn’t support members properly, so we felt was best to take it down and re-launch with a robust, awesome platform,” it says.

A scene I'd love to see ...

“Get out of the way, Leo. I'm king of the world.”

Photo illustration

B.C. opens sites

British Columbia has decided not to wait for Ottawa to act, opening several provincially sanctioned drug-injection sites, my colleague Andrea Woo reports.

The province’s decision adds to the pressure on Ottawa to change Harper-era legislation.

A young Syrian's story

Meet Muzoon Almellehan, a 17-year-old Syrian native trying to do whatever she can to get people to act in her country’s civil war.

Her home base is now Newcastle, and Mark MacKinnon has her story.

Notley warns on projects

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley headed to British Columbia this week to tell her pipeline story, and why protests won’t change the Kinder Morgan project.

Merkel calls for partial ban

German Chancellor Angela Merkel finally gave in this week and called for a partial ban on burkas.

As Mark MacKinnon reports, Ms. Merkel had been a “stolid and increasingly lonely champion of liberal values.”

Until, just a few weeks after she unveiled plans to run for office again, she wasn’t.

Desmond on banknote

The first woman on a Canadian banknote, but for the Queen, will be Viola Desmond, whose brave stand at a segregated theatre in Nova Scotia in 1946 led to her becoming a civil-rights icon.

She’ll appear on the $10 note in 2018.

My colleague Evan Annett has her story.

CIBC hits snag

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has hit a snag in its $3.8-billion (U.S.) plan for U.S. expansion with a bid for PrivateBancorp Inc.

As my colleagues Christina Pellegrini, Jacqueline Nelson and Andrew Willis write, the target bank postponed its shareholder vote on the deal amid the urgings of influential proxy advisers.

CIBC is now widely seen as having to sweeten the pot to get the deal done.

A scene I'd love to see ...

“Hey, kid, you're clueless.”

Your weekend

If you’re not on and don’t have a date this weekend, here’s what we recommend:

My friend Barry Hertz loved Natalie Portman’s portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy. Here’s what he says of Jackie, also starring Peter Sarsgaard and Billy Crudup: “No one will ever be able to touch this role again.”

According to my friend Kate Taylor, that would be time better spent than watching Miss Sloane, which stars Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. As Kate puts it: “Before the quarter-hour mark in Miss Sloane, I found myself shifting in my seat and sighing deeply.”

And if you’ve got no one to go to the movies with, my colleague John Doyle recommends The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses, Sunday night on PBS. This series consists of three two-hour segments that are adaptations of Shakespeare’s Henry VI and Richard the III. This Sunday, John writes, has “a rip-roaring start.”

Now, if you don’t have a date, and you don’t want anyone to know you watched TV alone, you can take in our Books offerings and come across as simply intellectual. Our Books editor Mark Medley has a few suggestions for holiday shopping.

The week ahead

If you’re out holiday shopping, Statistics Canada is going to really make your week.

On Wednesday, the federal agency issues its quarterly national balance sheet accounts report. That’s the one that carries the scary numbers on our fat consumer debts. But take heart, the key measure of debt to personal disposable income is expected to actually dip, says Royal Bank of Canada, from 167.6 per cent in the second quarter to a still-stunning 166.9 per cent in the third.

And if that doesn’t put you in the mood to shop, the Bank of Canada releases its review of the financial system one day later. What you’re like to see is another warning on said household debt.

Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, Amnesty International Canada releases its human rights report on the Liberal government.

And Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne gives a speech that morning about having “a balanced plan to build Ontario up for everyone.”