July 22, 2015

The death of Sandra Bland, Israeli Anxiety, Burundi, Apple Crushing It and the Trolling Trump



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The Mysterious Case Of Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old black woman from Chicago, was found dead in her jail cell three days after being stopped for a minor traffic violation. The case is being “treated as a murder investigation” by Walker County District Attorney Elton Mathis. After Ms. Bland was stopped for a minor violation, the officer asked her to put out her cigarette. She refused, leading to an altercation and the officer pointing his taser at her, threatening to “light her up” (watch the video here). She remained in a Texas prison for three days before being found hung from a privacy partition in her jail cell with a plastic trash bag around her neck. It is unclear if it was a suicide or murder at this point. The case comes on a string of police killings of black Americans. You have to wonder what’s wrong when a traffic violation has eerie echoes of a Russian mafia thriller.

Ash Carter Soothes Bibi Netanyahu

When it comes to the Iran Deal, the hard work is still to come for Obama and his administration. US Secretary of Defense Minister Ash Carter flew to Jerusalem to meet with Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu to calm his nerves on the Iran Deal Tuesday. Washington’s allies in the Middle East (primarily Israel and Saudi Arabia) are not happy with the recent Iran Deal and have voiced their opposition by quietly alluding to nuclear programs of their own and bombing neighboring countries (Saudi), or making angry speeches in Congress (Israel). Carter attempted to calm Israeli fears that the deal would lead to Iran getting the bomb and a free ride to be more aggressive in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. There is still a lot of work to do at home, as well, for the Obama administration to sell people on the deal. In fact, they even set up a dedicated Twitter handle, @TheIranDeal, to help convince the world.
 The Pnut’s Guide to the Iran Deal


Third Time’s Not So Much Of A Charm For Burundi President

Burundian President Pierre Nkuruniziza looks set to win a third term in office after Tuesday’s election. His attempt to run for a third term drew international condemnation, significant violence and even a coup attempt last May. People expect him to win his bid for reelection, because… well, the opposition withdrew. Since Nkuruniziza announced he is running again, the country has endured much violence with many fearing a civil war. As if Central Africa needed that.

Chattanooga Shooter Update

Investigators have now learned that Mohammad Abdulazeez, the 24-year-old man who shot and killed five servicemen in Tennessee last week and died in the shootout himself, followed a high-profile Al Qaeda cleric and recruiter in 2013. He also researched militant Islamist guidance on how to commit violence. The man’s uncle, who resides in Jordan, has been detained to determine whether Abdulazeez was radicalized during his seven-month stay in Jordan last year. However, investigators say it’s still too soon to determine whether his acts were inspired by ISIS.

Great Read: How ISIS is becoming a state (via NYT)

Apple On Track To Take Over The World

Apple’s profits are now officially higher than your cousin Jerry on the fourth of July. The company’s second quarter earnings rose 38 percent higher year on year, coming in at $10.7 billion. Just to put that into perspective, that is $3 billion MORE than what the EU gave Greece last week to get it through its mess. In fact, Apple is sitting on $203 billion in cash, meaning it could bail Greece out, 2.5 times. The cash alone would make it the 50th largest economy in the world. CEO Tim Cook said that the “gap was widening between us and our competitors.” Quite an understatement. Amazingly, Apple’s shares fell 8.8 percent in after hours trading, presumably because the market finally figured out Apple is running out of people to sell iPhones to.

#Pnut4Prez: Welcome #16!

John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, entered the Republican presidential race Tuesday, becoming lucky number 16 (just kidding, that’s not a thing). Known as “a rebel who can govern” (his chief strategist referred to him as such), there’s some excitement behind the little-known Governor. He’s not your average Republican, having expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (depending on which way you swing, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out). He’s also the governor of a pretty crucial swing state — no president since JFK has won the general election without taking Ohio.


The Trolling Trump

Rumors abound that real estate tycoon, turned hair stylist, turned presidential candidate Donald Trump might just be trolling everyone. The rumors have aren’t totally unfounded. From bashing prisoners of war by saying he “likes people who weren’t captured,” to insulting Latino immigrants, the man seems determined to get under everyone’s skin. After provoking Lindsey Graham into calling him a “jackass” (see video below), he decided to give everyone Lindsey Graham’s phone number… you know, just so they could heckle him. We can’t decide if we are more scared Iran might get the bomb, or that Trump might win this election and get the bomb.

Lindsey Graham doesn’t hold back about The Donald.
Correction: Yesterday’s Pnut stated that golfer Jordan Spieth is South African. He is, in fact, American. We apologize for any confusion. 
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