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Episode 425: Stockpiling for Brexit, China's death row, praise for Missy Elliott, exhuming Franco and more

Britons on both sides of Brexit prepare for an uncertain future, why Canadian Robert Schellenberg's death sentence is difficult to appeal, Michie Mee celebrates Missy Elliott's Hall of Fame induction, drop marketing culture, inexperienced Oscar winners, exhuming Francisco Franco and more.

This Brexit survival kit salesman is prepping for the worst — and still supports a no-deal exit

Many British citizens are preparing for the worst after the crushing defeat of Theresa May's Brexit deal in the U.K. parliament this week. Leave supporter James Blake, who owns an emergency food supply company, is among those stockpiling food.

No Hollywood experience needed: Meet some of history's greenest movie stars

Mexican schoolteacher-turned-movie star Yalitza Aparicio had never acted before being cast in Roma. Now, she could score a Best Actress nomination at the Oscars. Film journalist Tina Hassannia tells us about some other famous non-actors who paved the way.
The New Sell

Your friend, the marketer: The best social media ads don't look like ads at all

Brands know consumers hate ads, so they're reaching buyers through social media influencers who look more like friends — and letting genuine fans fuel the hype around limited edition products.

As a Canadian faces death in China, former ambassador isn't optimistic about a lighter sentence

This week, a Chinese court sentenced Robert Schellenberg to death for drug smuggling. Former Canadian Ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques, who worked on Schellenberg's case from 2014 to 2016, says past efforts to advocate for Canadians there don't offer much hope.

Why Canadian rapper Michie Mee is jazzed about Missy Elliott's hall of fame induction

This week, Missy Elliott made history as the first female rapper inductee to the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. Canadian hip-hop pioneer Michie Mee tells us why she's celebrating.

Exhuming Franco: Why Europe's last monument to fascism is so hard to get rid of

Spain's socialist government wants to exhume the body of former fascist dictator Francisco Franco, which is buried in a mausoleum that serves as a shrine to his rule. The plan has sparked fierce opposition.

Riffed From The Headlines: 1/19/2019

Riffed from the Headlines is our weekly quiz where we choose three riffs linked by one story in the news. Guess the story that links the riffs and you could win a Day 6 tote bag and a personalized note from our very own Brent Bambury.

Episode 424: RCMP bias and Indigenous protest, U.S. guns in Mexico, El Chapo's IT guy flips, R. Kelly and more

How the RCMP polices Indigenous movements, U.S. guns fuel instability at the Mexican border, how El Chapo's IT guy may have cemented his downfall, renewed outrage over R. Kelly's alleged sex crimes, marketing in the age of Alexa and more.

Why the RCMP may not be a neutral player in the Wet'suwet'en anti-pipeline dispute

The RCMP has justified the arrest of 14 Indigenous anti-pipeline protesters as a simple matter of law enforcement, but criminologist Jeffrey Monaghan says the RCMP has an enduring bias against Indigenous social movements.

After 20 years of allegations, the campaign against R. Kelly may have reached a tipping point

Sexual assault allegations against R. Kelly, including statutory rape, have come in and out of the spotlight for two decades without harming his career. But #MuteRKelly founder Oronike Odeleye says this time will be different.

As Trump calls for a border wall to keep trouble out, illegal U.S. guns are fuelling violence in Mexico

Donald Trump says only a wall can save America from what's coming across its southern border. But Chelsea Parsons says the flow of U.S. firearms going the other way is inflaming the border conflict.

Guns, drugs and liposuction: What the FBI learned when it flipped El Chapo's IT guy

This week, jurors in the trial of Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzmán heard evidence from his former IT guy. Courthouse News reporter Amanda Ottaway says that could lead to legendary Mexican drug lord's downfall.
The New Sell

Future smart speakers won't just know what you want — they'll do your shopping for you

Powered by sophisticated artificial intelligence, the smart speakers of the future won't be the Amazon Echo and Google Home we know today. They'll be powerful prediction machines that do product research for you — and that means marketers will have to adapt their sales tactics.

Riffed from the Headlines: 1/12/2019

Riffed from the Headlines is our weekly quiz where we choose three riffs linked by one story in the news. Guess the story that links the riffs and you could win a Day 6 tote bag and a personalized note from our very own Brent Bambury.

Episode 423: Instagram influencers, The Last Days of August, healing crystals, a new U.S. Congress and more

Our new series on the new rules of marketing, Jon Ronson's The Last Days of August, the murky origins of healing crystals, music videos for a vicarious sunshine getaway, what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez means for young Puerto Ricans and more.
The New Sell

YouTube and Instagram influencers are transforming the digital marketplace

Part One of our series, The New Sell, looks at the growing power of YouTube and Instagram influencers over brands and consumers — and the sometimes shoddy ethics of it all.

Podcast chronicling porn star August Ames' suicide sheds light on mental health in adult film

Writer Jon Ronson's new podcast, The Last Days of August, explores the suicide of adult film star August Ames — born as Mercedes Grabowski — and how mental health is addressed among the industry's stars.

Healing crystals are sold as wellness products, but they can have shady origins

The healing crystal industry has exploded in recent years alongside the self-care movement — but journalist Emily Atkin says the crystals' origins are often less wholesome than their branding.

Need a winter getaway? Warm yourself vicariously with these sunny, destination music videos

Let music video editor Jordan Hayles and director Meron Gaudet take you on a virtual tour of their favourite sunny shoot locations.

How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made one D.C. law clerk finally feel represented in politics

As a U.S. State Department intern, Alexa Kissinger was encouraged to downplay her Puerto Rican roots in how she dressed and spoke. With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez now in office, she feels ready to be herself.

Riffed from the Headlines: 1/5/2019

Riffed from the headlines is our weekly news quiz where we choose three riffs linked by one story in the news. Guess the story that links the riffs and you could win a Day 6 tote bag.

The Big Trip: How psychedelic drugs are changing lives and transforming psychiatry

Researchers believe psychedelic drug therapy could have the potential to treat everything from PTSD to cigarette addiction. Here are the stories of three people whose lives have been changed by the research.

Episode 422: Psychedelic drugs and the future of psychiatry

Researchers believe psychedelic drug therapy could help treat everything from PTSD to cigarette addiction. We explore hallucinogens’ transformation from party drugs to potentially revolutionary treatment tools.

Episode 421: Facebook's bad year, Impeach-o-Meter, Springsteen on Broadway, medical cannabis in the UFC & more

Facebook's disastrous 2018, the Impeach-o-Meter, the night before Kush-mas, the director of Springsteen on Broadway, why travelling with a wheelchair can be such a nightmare, the MMA fighter pushing for medical cannabis, the elements of a successful Christmas song and more.