November 03, 2015

Just Call Paul!



Hope your Monday went better than AirBnB’s, where protestors helped themselves to a “short-term rental” in the lobby of AirBnB’s headquarters.


Russian Plane Crash: Whodunnit? 

Russian airline Metrojet ruled out technical fault or pilot error in the crash which killed 224 people over Egypt Saturday. The airline claimed the crash was the result of “external factors” but hasn’t yet been able to determine what those are. With the findings from the plane’s “black box” not yet released, the Russian and Egyptian governments stated that it was still too early to speculate if it was a terrorist attack. A criminal negligence probe was opened over the weekend by Russian prosecutors with reports that the company hadn’t paid its pilots. What does this mean? If the crash was the result of a terror attack then Russia would likely escalate its intervention in Syria (where it is currently bombing ISIS and other “rebels”). The attack would also damage Egypt’s economy, which relies heavily on tourism. Already European airlines are starting to reroute flights until they determine the cause of the attack.
 Nutshell: Syrian Civil War

Paul Ryan Ushers New Era Of Bipartisan Bickering

Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) started his new job as House Speaker yesterday, promising a new era of transparency and cooperation. While the new era won’t extend to immigration reform (on which he doesn’t trust President Obama), investors are excited about the prospect of an overhaul to the tax-code. Before he can get to work on any of that, however, he first has to get rid of the nasty smell Boehner left behind.    


Turkish Elections Not So Free And Fair?

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said that Turkey’s election on Sunday was “well run” but expressed “serious concerns” over freedom of the press (Turkey is ranked 149/180) and escalating violence in the southeast (where Kurds live). Turkey’s President, Tayyip Erdogan (owner of a golden toilet?), promised to use this election to push for a change in the Constitution, which would give him more power.

Vati-Leaks: Pope Francis Catches Leakers… Not Literally

The Vatican, a city state with a population of 842, arrested two members of a commission investigating the Vatican’s financial management and structure. The pair were accused of leaking confidential documents and were arrested by the Vatican’s police force. This is the latest in a series of Vati-leaks which has led to speculation of in-fighting and factionalism within Pope Francis’ papacy.

Pentagon Funded The ‘World’s Most Expensive’ Gas Station

A report released yesterday looking into infrastructure spending in Afghanistan criticized the US Department of Defense after it emerged that $43 million had been spent on a single gas station in Afghanistan, an apparent $42.5 million overspend. The report labelled the spending “gratuitous and extreme.” The DOD didn’t seem to know anything about it… very reassuring for the US taxpayer.   

#pnut4prez: Ted Cruz Just Wants Some Attention

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz thinks he will survive the Republican Hunger Games-esque nomination process. He has solid conservative credentials, experience, a commanding presence and a war chest across four super PACs… only problem is, the PACs aren’t putting out. So far, they have reserved no TV time for ads and Cruz doesn’t know why (they can’t legally talk to each other). Their coyness must certainly be frustrating for the man looking to benefit from the inevitable Trump-Carson flame out.

GOOD READ: Ted Cruz’s Plan To Pick Off The Competition (via Politico)


Keeping Our Eye On…

  • Google Drones: Google announced “Project Wing” yesterday — a service which will deliver goods via drones in 2017. Other companies such as Amazon (is their drone video a fake?) and Alibaba are also looking into this technology.
  • Saudi Princes: Prosecutors in Lebanon charged a Saudi prince with drug smuggling. He was arrested while tonnes of Captagon pills were being loaded on a private jet. This comes after another Saudi Prince was arrested in LA for sex crimes. A royal mess.
  • Facebook & ‘Real Names’: Facebook doesn’t like it when you don’t use your real name to log in, but after pressure from  transgender and Native American civil groups the company is watering down its policies. These groups argue that their “legal names” don’t always reflect their true identities.


China: Start Making Babies… Just Not Yet

China announced last Thursday that it was abandoning the country’s “one child” policy (err… a policy where you can only have one child). Instead, China now has a “two-child” policy. Officials are adamant, however, that the nearly 90 million couples who are eligible to make more babies cannot “implement” the policy until March. We have so many questions about enforcing this law we don’t know where to start.
Turns out some states are holding elections today. John Oliver gives us the rundown.
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CORRECTION: In yesterday’s Pnut, we stated that only US teams play in the World Series. The Toronto Blue Jays (Canadian) play in the World Series and almost won this year. Receive this email from a friend? Get The Daily Pnut every day – subscribe here
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