Bird flu makes its way to mammals

Birds have already given us food, inspiration for band names, and countless sports mascots. Unfortunately, they might also be giving us a nasty virus.

Driving the news: A recent outbreak of bird flu in U.S. cattle has now spread to a human, with at least one person in Texas testing positive for the virus. It’s the latest worrying development in an outbreak that has infected millions of animals around the world.

Are we seeing an EV slowdown, or just a Tesla slowdown?

These are just a choice selection of analysts’ reactions to Tesla’s quarterly sales report. 

What happened: Like a deadbeat dad missing his child’s softball game, Tesla’s sales numbers were a massive disappointment. Despite technically regaining its title of top EV seller, the company seriously missed Wall Street estimates, sparking fears over its growth. 

AI finds cancers that doctors missed

When it comes to medical diagnoses, it’s always good to get a second opinion. Getting a third from an artificially intelligent healthcare tool might not be a bad idea, either.

What happened: An AI tool called Mia caught multiple small cancers missed by doctors in a test of 10,000 women’s mammograms performed by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

RBC puts the finishing touches on HSBC takeover

If you spotted an RBC on your commute this morning you could have sworn was an HSBC, don’t worry, you’re not going crazy… 

Driving the news: We hope you’ve said your final goodbyes to HSBC’s Canadian arm, since this week you’ll find that dozens of HSBC branches transformed into RBCs overnight, marking the final stages of the 2022 $13.5 billion acquisition by the country’s largest bank. 

Explain It Like I'm Five: Zero-day vulnerabilities

What is a zero-day vulnerability?

Any security flaw or vulnerability in a computer system that its owners or developers don’t know about.

Benchmarks are the latest frontier of AI hype

We’re sorry to report that ~vibes~ might be the only way to judge AI models.

Mark W. Podlasly on Indigenous stakes in Canadian projects

On this week’s episode of Free Lunch by The Peak, we sat down with Mark W. Podlasly, a member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation and the chief sustainability officer for the First Nations Major Projects Coalition to talk about how Indigenous communities across the country are taking ownership stakes in major clean energy, resource development, and infrastructure projects. 

What to do this weekend

Schools take their social media gripes to court

The fight to get kids to stop scrolling on TikTok has gone from the classroom to the court. 

What happened: Four of Canada’s largest school boards have filed $4.5 billion worth of lawsuits against the owners of Snapchat, TikTok, and Facebook and Instagram, accusing them of deliberately harming students and interfering with their ability to learn. 

What can we learn from the Baltimore bridge collapse?

The tragic bridge collapse this week in Baltimore is putting the spotlight on the safety of North American bridges.  

Driving the news: Investigators are still trying to determine the series of events that led a 290-metre cargo ship to crash into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, a collision that completely destroyed the bridge and led to the presumed deaths of six people. 

How does motorcycle racing affect your pension?

The owner of Formula One is looking to diversify its portfolio of ‘vroom vroom sports’ (as we like to call them).

What happened: Liberty Media is in late-stage discussions to buy Dorna Sports — the owner of MotoGP, the world’s top motorcycle road racing league — for a cool €4 billion. 

Canada takes a work trip to Vietnam

Canada is hoping to take its relationship with Vietnam to the next level. 

What happened: Canada sent its largest-ever delegation — including the trade minister and hundreds of Canadian business people — to set up some coffee chats in Vietnam this week as it looks to strengthen trade ties with one of the fastest-growing Southeast Asian economies.

It’s SBF sentencing day

Place your bets, folks. Will the fallen crypto wunderkind spend his life behind bars or have a brief stop-over in the big house? 

Driving the news: Sam Bankman-Fried will be sentenced today following his conviction on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors have asked that he get 40 to 50 years, his attorneys have argued for 6.5 years at most, and he could theoretically get over 100.

Feds will take a closer look at foreign tech investments

The government revealed what recent changes to the law regulating foreign investments in Canadian companies will mean for investors: more paperwork.

Turning pigs into organ donors

A lot of people are waiting for life-saving organ donations, especially kidneys. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, nearly 1,800 kidneys were transplanted in 2022, but 2,813 people were still on waiting lists and 117 died before getting one.

Class is in session for Spotify

The tuition for Spotify University could be the latest way the streamer gets as much money as it can from its users.

Marineland stays in hot water

Marineland’s marketing team might’ve forgotten to consult the animals before deciding to stick with the famous “Everyone loves Marineland” jingle.

Driving the news: Marineland has denied claims that it’s closing down, despite a tumultuous month that has included animal cruelty charges and reports of two more dead whales, bringing the park’s tally of whale deaths to a gut-wrenching 17 since 2019. 

Ontario tries to balance spending and saving

Provincial governments. They’re just like us. They tell themselves they're gonna rein in spending and then go, “Hmmm, maybe next year.” 

What happened: Canada’s most populous province tabled its budget for 2024-25. Like most provinces, it put balanced books on the back burner in favour of higher spending, planning to operate on a $9.8 billion deficit this fiscal year, which is more than triple last year’s deficit. 

Cocoa prices are going cuckoo

Warning: the Easter Bunny might be dropping off fewer chocolate eggs than usual this year. 

Driving the news: Over the past year, cocoa futures have surged 250% as suppliers grapple with a historic shortage. After breaking a record high last month, prices have passed US$10,000 per metric tonne, a number that would have been unthinkable just weeks ago. 

Air passenger rights head to Supreme Court

Canada’s top court is hearing a case about an oh-so-common travel nightmare: flight cancellations. 

What happened: Members of the airline industry are appealing Canada’s air passenger protection rules in the Supreme Court, arguing that the feds don’t have the right to impose rules on foreign carriers and that compensation amounts go beyond passengers’ losses.