August 17, 2015

Syrian airstrikes kill 80, Brazil protests against president, AT&T and the NSA, Iowa State Fair and Ukrainian hipsters


“Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich.” – The Donald. Make your Monday a little more tolerable with 199 of Politico’s favorite quotes from The Donald. 



Syrian President Bombs Marketplace 

At least 80 people, mainly civilians, were killed yesterday when Syrian government airstrikes hit a crowded market place in the city of Douma, near the capital Damascus. The city is reportedly under the hold of the rebel group “Islam Army,” which was staging an offensive in another Damascus suburb. 

Why did this happen?
The Syrian Civil War, which started in 2011 as a peaceful uprising against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, has since devolved into a multi-sided civil war, with rebel groups fighting each other as often as they fight Assad. A rebel coalition called the “Southern Front” has put pressure on Damascus. Assad routinely uses airstrikes (and worse) to target civilians in rebel held areas… there are no “good guys” in this conflict. 

Brazilian President Competes For Most Unpopular President

Thousands of people took to the streets of Brazil to protest against Brazilian President Roussef’s rule. The President, who currently has an approval rating of eight percent (yes, just eight percent) is facing a battle against impeachment by, at this point, everyone in Brazil.    

Why is she so unpopular?
  • Austerity: She is doing a lot of it and people are feeling the pinch.
  • Recession: Brazil is in one and it’s part of why she has to do austerity.
  • Corruption: There is a lot of it, but most notably there has been a big scandal in the state oil company, Petrobras, of which she was Chairwoman of from 2003-2010.



AT&T Helped NSA Look At Your Dodgy Photos 

A new NSA document showed just how close the NSA was getting with your cell phone, particularly if you used AT&T. A NYTimes report shows that AT&T forwarded one million emails per day to the NSA and even helped the NSA spy on the UN (which happened to be an AT&T customer). If you are also an AT&T customer you better hope you didn’t send an email with a naked photo of yourself using your phone… 


China Explosion: The Aftermath  

The Chinese city of Tianjin struggled to deal with the aftermath of a huge and deadly explosion that happened last week. 112 people died and at least 95 other people, mostly firefighters, are still missing!  Officials think that excessive sums of sodium cyanide were at the site and are evacuating people who live in the area… The public outcry will add pressure on the government as it tries to deal with an economic slowdown. 

Indonesia Plane Crashes Into Remote Mountain 

An Indonesian plane carrying 54 passengers crashed in the Western Papua Region yesterday. The plane is the fourth major crash from South East Asia in the past 18 months. In fact, this is the 10th plane that Air Trigana, the operator, has lost in a crash since it opened in 1991. It’s probably about time to shut down the company at this point. 


#pnut4prez: Iowa Selects Leader of Free World Based On Hot Dog Eating Skills

The Iowa State Fair started this weekend, giving presidential candidates a chance to come and pretend to connect with the average American. Hillary chowed down on some pork chops, Jeb flipped a few burgers (he even broke his Paleo diet) and Donald Trump, as usual, did whatever he wanted to. The Republican candidate showed up with his helicopter (a no-no for the fair) and stole the show from his rivals… They just can’t beat him… 


Keeping Our Eye On…

  • Ecuadorian volcanoes: The Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupted yesterday, prompting the president to call for a state of emergency. Expect travel disruptions as ash continues to spew from the volcano. 
  • Greek crises: Eurozone finance ministers approved the bailout last Friday in step 12 of 5346837 to end the crisis… 
  • Amazonians: The online bookstore that delivers everything from your toilet paper to drones is getting flak for the way it treats employees. Things are so bad that one employee said that “nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk.” Makes you think twice before purchase…     


Ukraine Fights Putin With Macklemore Haircuts

Nothing says “we are at war with Russia” than Brooklyn style watering holes and hand crafted beers. But that is exactly what seems to be happening as Kiev continues to undergo a “hipster revolution” sparked by the pro-Euro revolution of January 2014. Craft cocktails, gourmet hot dogs and bean bags are all part of the arsenal of weapons Ukraine’s pro-West youth are bringing to the war. But some are not afraid of bringing out the heavy weaponry… sex, advocating slogans such as “don’t give it to a Russian.” Your move Putin.      


An air safety video worth paying attention to.
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