October 16, 2015

A Quick Look at Canada's Upcoming Elections and our Favorite Weekend Reads

PNUT GALLERY


It was kind of unbelievable,” Yale scientist Tabetha Boyajian said after discovering planet KIC 8462852’s unusual light flicker with some scientists, indicating that these represent signs of an “alien civilization.” 



IN A NUTSHELL: MUST READ


Canada Is Having Elections… Eh!
  

Turns out Canada, America’s hat, is having elections on Monday. Despite being the longest campaign in Canadian history (79 days), few from the rest of the world have heard about it due to the noticeable lack of a Canadian Donald Trump (presumably because there would be no wall to build). Here is the lowdown:

Who is running?
  • The Tories (conservatives): Led by Stephen Harper, the Tories have governed Canada for the past nine years. They are credited for surviving the crash of 2008 and blamed for basically everything else. 
  • The Grits (Liberal Party): Known for being lead by famously attractive man, Justin Trudeau, who has an even more famous last name (the Bushes of Canada, minus the propensity to invade Iraq). They are currently the front-runners. 
  • The New Democrats (no nickname): Led by Thomas Muclair, they are the most left of the three main parties and currently trailing in the polls due to a lot of pissed off Quebecois. 
What’s at stake?
  • The Economy: It’s in bad shape due to the drop in the price of oil, which has ended a long boom in several oil towns and provinces. The loonie (Canadian dollar) and some economists are even calling it a recession.
  • The niqab (known by its more prevalent but factually incorrect name the burka): An unexpected debate has erupted over whether Muslim women should be allowed to cover their faces with a niqab (Canada allows it). The issue has taken center stage over many other more important issues.
Happy voting.. ay!
 



NUTS AND BOLTS: SHOULD READ


Turkey To Stop Refugees In Return For Easier Visas 

 
Turkey agreed to stem the flow of refugees to the EU yesterday after the EU said it would give Turkey aid and open talks to let Turkey into the EU. Turkey has long played a role in the Syrian Civil War, occasionally funding rebel groups including Al-Qaeda, and recently intervening directly by bombing Kurdish groups. Given the increased political instability in Turkey it is unlikely that the refugee crisis will subside soon.  
 
  

Obama Gives Afghan War To Next President

President Obama announced yesterday that the US will halt its troop withdrawal in Afghanistan and keep thousands of military personnel in the country through 2017. There are currently 9,800 US troops in the country, but this number will be reduced to 5,500 in 2017. This reflects the worsening security situation with the Taliban spread through large parts of the country. This is now the longest war in US history.
 

#pnut4prez: What Happens When Trump Doesn’t Get His Way 

He basically throws a temper tantrum and says, “I’m out!” This is exactly what he might do when it comes to the next GOP debate on October 28. Trump has stipulated that he will drop out if there are no opening or closing statements and the duration runs longer than two hours. Carson jumped on the bandwagon, saying that he’d drop out, as well. The Siamese twins interjections will most certainly be missed. 


Keeping Our Eye On…

  • Fantasy Sports: Nevada became the first state to clamp down on fantasy sports sites. The state will keep them shut down until they get a proper gaming license… Other states might be next.
     
  • Theranos: The WSJ (paywall link) went after hot tech startup, Theranos, yesterday, exposing what it said was hype that the company failed to live up to. Theranos CEO responded that she was shocked the article was published and refuted the claims. 
     
  • Tipping: A prominent New York restauranteur will ban tipping in his establishments starting next month, claiming that tips only go to a few workers while “hospitality is a team sport.” The bill will now cost 25-35% more but will spare you from having to do math on a date.  


LOOSE NUTS: FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT

 

Homeland Is Racist According To Homeland’s Own Graffiti


As Homeland, a show which involves Claire Danes running around looking permanently worried, enters its fifth season, a group of Arabic-speaking set artists protested what has been called the “most bigoted show on TV.” They were hired to write apolitical messages on the walls of a fictitious Syrian refugee camp, but for reasons posted in an online statement they instead wrote “Homeland is racist” in Arabic. The Emmy award-winning show has been criticized for its depiction of Muslims, with some describing its scenes as “a white Red Riding Hood lost in a forest of faceless Muslim wolves.”
 


Weekend Reads

 

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Correction: Yesterday’s Pnut said that each seat in the Kyrgyz parliament cost $3,500. We messed up the math, it is actually $350, which come to think of it, isn’t that big a deal. 

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