July 14, 2015

Greece (sick of you), Iran (you too) and some new news

“The World in a Nutshell”
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Greek Bailouts: Third Time’s A Charm  Eurozone leaders announced yesterday that they had reached a bailout deal with Greece. Greek PM Tsipras agreed to a deal after what one top official called ‘extensive mental waterboarding‘ by Merkel and Hollande. This will be the third bailout Greece gets since its troubles started in 2009… and will hopefully be the last. The potential bailout is strictly conditional on Greece passing certain reforms this week, and it includes harsh austerity measures, unconventional privatization funds and an attempt to break the back of Greek populism.Key elements of the deal include:
  • Bridge financing: 12 billion euros in the short-term to avoid bankruptcy
  • Tons of austerity: restructuring pensions and raising VAT 
  • Structural reform: labor reform, judicial reform, longer store hours, etc. 
  • Promises: Europe will discuss restructuring Greek debt and will negotiate a third bailout worth more than 80 billion euros 
  • A special trust, managed by Europe, to privatize Greek assets worth 50 billion euros — the money will be used to pay back the bailout and recapitalize the banks.
  • 35 billion euros from the EU (though it’s unclear how this will be financed) to promote growth and unemployment
The final bailout negotiations will proceed only if the parliaments of Greece, Germany and Finland (huh?) agree on the plan. Good Read: The Pnut’s dispatch from Athens
Iran Nuclear Deal Reached… A Brave New Something 
A historic final agreement between Iran and the six world powers (US and…no one else really matters) on the Iranian nuclear arms program was secured this morning after nearly a decade of on/off talks. On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister had serenaded reporters by yelling at them from the third floor of the hotel in Vienna with periodic updates on negotiations, which he characterized as “sleepy.” This had not exactly inspired hope. The deal is widely expected to impose curbs on the Iranian nuclear weapons (sorry…civilian power) programme in exchange for extensive sanctions relief. The deal has worried US allies in the region who consider a resurgent Iran as a major threat. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been fiercely critical of the deal and even opened a Twitter account in Farsi to denounce it. 
Eric Garner Case Settled For $5.9 Million Remember the horrible video that showed a man gasping for air on a New York City sidewalk? That was Eric Garner, the 46-year-old black man who died after being placed in a chokehold by a police officer for selling single cigarettes. His death, along with that of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, prompted protests and cast light on racial tensions in the US. His family sued New York City for $75 million and settled Monday for $5.9 million
Obama Just Made 46 Drug Offenders’ Day  Obama commuted sentences for 46 drug offenders convicted of nonviolent crimes Monday, 14 of whom had been sentenced to life. Stating that “the punishment did not fit the crime” and that “America is a nation of second chances,” the President increased his number of commutations to nearly 90 — more than every president since LBJ.
Nigerian President Sacks Everyone
Recently-elected Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari fired the heads of the Army, Navy and the Air Force after their failure to defeat Boko Haram, the Islamist terror group. Violence has steadily been increasing in the North as the group has carried out sustained bombing campaigns against civilians. Buhari was elected on a promise to “crush” the group and end their six-year insurgency. This is the same strongman former general who made civil servants late for work do frog jumps as punishment. He means business.
#Pnut4Prez: Hillary And The ‘Gig’ Economy
Never heard of the “gig” economy (aka the “0n-demand” economy)? Think Uber where drivers act as freelancers and their employers take a cut of their fares. Hillary addressed whether it’s all it’s hyped up to be in her speech at the New School. The verdict: good… but to an extent. She wants to know what the future will hold and what it means for workplace protection.
It’s like TripAdvisor But For Prisons What do you look for in a good prison? Friendly staff, good food, sea views and decent wi-fi? UK inmates have taken to rating their prisons online on Google Reviews. One prisoner at Wormwood Scrubs (aka San Quentin with bad weather) rated the laundry as “excellent” and said it was “a great place to get away from the wife and kids.” Belmarsh prison, currently home to several notorious serial killers including the “Suffolk Strangler,” was described by one inmate as having “great neighbors… who never throw noisy parties.” 
John Oliver Gives the inside scoop on the Iran Talks.

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