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Germany legalizes recreational cannabis

This year’s Oktoberfest celebrations could have a much chiller vibe, and it’s all thanks to some weed-loving lawmakers in Germany.

Driving the news: Germany is the latest country to legalize cannabis for recreational use, a move that lays the groundwork for commercial legalization by 2030 and opens the door for Canadian producers looking to cash in on weed sales within the EU’s biggest economy. 

Could vending machines be scanning your face?

Nowadays, you can’t even grab a sneaky little midday Mars bar without being silently judged by a dang machine.  

What happened: Students at the University of Waterloo are revolting against Mars-owned campus vending machines after discovering the machines were scanning users’ faces without their knowledge. 

Proposed online safety laws come in hot

Today in news that we’re sure politicians will take in super chill fashion, the federal justice minister unveiled the first draft of a long-awaited Online Harms Act.

Driving the news: The proposed legislation covers content posted to social media platforms, live streaming services, and some user-uploaded pornography sites. If passed, it would also create a new digital safety commission tasked with upholding rules, making recommendations, and receiving user complaints.  

Why chocolate prices are high, and likely going higher

Got a sweet tooth? Now might be a good time to replenish your personal Strategic Chocolate Reserve, because already-high prices for cocoa-based treats are only going up.

Driving the news: The chocolate industry is grappling with a record-breaking shortfall in cocoa production that’s pushed wholesale cocoa prices to an all-time high of US$6,400 per tonne.

Another budget airline bites the dust

In what’s probably the most rational decision the company’s made since changing its name from Jet Naked, Lynx Air has decided it’s time to throw in the towel. 

What happened: Budget airline Lynx Air officially stopped flying last night, winding down operations after just two years in the skies. It's the latest discount airline to fall flat in an increasingly difficult Canadian aviation market. 

Brian Belski on where Canadian markets are heading

 On this week’s episode of Free Lunch by The Peak, Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets, makes a case for why he’s bullish about the year ahead in markets.  

What to do this weekend

Japan breaks its 34-year stock market curse

Perhaps Canadian NHL teams looking to win the Stanley Cup could learn something from Japan’s stock market about breaking decades-long curses. 

What happened: This week, the Nikkei 225, Japan’s largest stock market index, rose to a record high for the first time in more than 34 years. It’s become the world’s best-performing major index so far in 2024, rising about 17.5% this year, and 42.4% over the past 12 months.

Israel releases a post-war plan for Gaza

Nearly five months into a war between Israel and Hamas, officials in Israel, Egypt, the U.S., and Qatar are struggling to move towards a solution. 

What happened: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put forward a post-war blueprint for Gaza that calls for an indefinite Israeli security presence in the enclave.

Explain It Like I'm Five: AI tokens and context windows

What are AI tokens?

The smallest units of information that AI breaks words and sentences into to make them easier to process. How many tokens an AI can process at once is called a “context window,” and it can include multiple prompts and requests, letting a system consider several things you might have told it at once.
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