September 07, 2015

The Pope and refugees, surveillance and Mideast crises… 



“What if he had carried a big stick instead of a selfie stick.” – Sarah Palin asking the tough questions about Prez Obama’s visit to Alaska. Happy Labor day Pnutters. We’ve made today shorter so you can get back to your vacation.


‘Boy On The Beach’ Stirs Europe Into Action

As refugees continued to stream into Austria and Germany, Pope Francis urged Europe’s Catholics (and everyone else) to house those who “flee death in conflict and hunger.” The Pope was not alone in his call, Finnish PM Juha Sipila offered his own home to refugees and thousands of Germans and Austrians drove into Hungary to pick up stranded refugees and provide them with shelter. What can I do to help?
  • Karam Foundation is helping Syria’s lost generation go back to school.
  • If you live in Germany you can shelter a refugee via this website (they also accept donations).
  • If you have an idea and need logistical support, StartupBoat can help.
  • MOAS is an organization helping refugees in distress at sea.
  • PRI has provided a roundup of other organizations that need donations.

MOVING READ: Why the boy on the beach via NYTimes magazine


Iran Deal Or No Iran Deal

Obama’s Iran deal received two more big endorsements over the weekend. Colin Powell became the first high profile Republican to come out in support of the deal saying that it would “stop the highway race” to the bomb. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fl) also made an emotional appeal for the deal, saying it was a “gut wrenching decision.” Schultz and other Jewish senators have been victims of vile attacks by both supporters and opponents of the deal. But fear not! Despite the fact that the Iran Deal saga might soon be behind us, there are still plenty of other things for Congress to disagree on (like funding the government). We expect them to begin bickering as soon as they get back from vacation.

 Pnut’s Nutshell on Iran



We Now Have To Get A Piece Of Paper To Spy On You

The US Justice Department issued a new policy last week requiring law enforcement agencies to obtain warrants to use cell-phone tracking technology.The technology is used by agencies to scan cellphones from the sky and look for criminal behavior (not your snapchats, Labor Day photos or any of the hundreds of other embarrassing things you have on your phone). At least the US Government has a great track record of keeping your personal information away from hackers…..hmmmm.

Russia Deploys Troops In Syria Because ‘Why Not?’

Russia followed a long standing American tradition of deploying “military advisors” in the Middle East in an effort to support its embattled ally, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed “concern” over Russia’s military involvement but didn’t seem to offer an alternative plan. Let’s just hope Russian and US planes bombing Syria don’t crash into each other…

Yemen: Because One Middle Eastern Crisis Isn’t Enough

The Arab coalition fighting in Yemen suffered its deadliest day to date when Houthi rebels attacked an ammunition depot and killed 60 soldiers. The UAE which lost 45 soldiers in the attack announced three days of mourning. The war in Yemen is entering into its sixth month with no clear end in sight as both sides show little intention of backing down and/or seeking a political solution.

 Pnut’s Nutshell on Yemen



And You Think Your Wedding Was Rowdy…

A dedicated 40 person police unit has been formed in Southern Russia to “end uncontrolled expressions of joy by people in wedding motorcades“. The residents of the Southern Russian town of Adygea have a reputation for bonkers weddings and have been known to fire guns out of car windows in celebration…only thing is it kills people. The force will have its own air balloon to monitor the celebrations from the skies. So they are going to monitor people firing their guns into the air…from the air. Interesting…. FUNNY VIDEO:  CELEBRATING A WEDDING…RUSSIAN STYLE
Drone footage of thousands of refugee as they walk to Austria from Hungary.
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