February 17, 2016

BEWARE: Student Loan Debt 






Confused about the Supreme Court nomination process? So were we, but luckily The Onion gave us a low down on how exactly it will go down (SPOILER: it really does come down to whether they like the President or not). 



South China Sea: Missiles? What Missiles? I Don’t See Any Missiles… The ongoing dispute over who controls the South China Sea (SCS) escalated yesterday with Taiwan claiming that China placed surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island claimed by both nations. The news comes after months of rising tension when it became clear that China was building man-made islands capable of hosting military equipment in an attempt to assert de facto control of the region. 

Why should you care?
$3.5 trillion worth of goods passes through the SCS meaning that any military confrontation or its control by a single power (China) might put the global economy at risk. China’s actions in the SCS are also indicative of how China will act in its new role as a possible superpower rival to the US. Will it unilaterally try to dominate its neighborhood, or will it work within international institutions supported by the US (e.g. ASEAN)? Time will tell.

PNUT READ: Our Summary Of The South China Sea Dispute
Three Kidnapped Americans Return Safely To Embassy In Baghdad
Still recovering from the worst party-foul ever, three American defense contractors have safely returned after being kidnapped from a “house party” (maybe brothel) in Baghdad. Their disappearance made headlines as it’s the first time Americans were abducted in Iraq since the withdrawal of American troops. The group had been drinking at their translator’s apartment when militiamen crashed the party. After a month in captivity, the trio appear to be in good health and not at all hungover.  



Armed Marshals Arrest Man For Unpaid Student LoansGone are the days of Dickensian debtors’ prisons, or so we hoped. Seven US Marshals armed with automatic weapons turned up at a man’s Texas home over his $1,500 student loan debt. According to reports, Paul Aker was arrested, shackled (seriously, is this a Charles Dickens novel?) and sent to a federal court. Texas Representative Gene Green argued that “there’s bound to be a better way to collect on a student loan debt,” most likely referring to 21st century practices. Paul Aker’s fate is uncertain, but it’s likely his lender will be visited by three ghosts tonight. 

China Just Displaced 9,000 People So They Can Search For AliensEarth to China: This is a bad idea. The People’s Republic is nearly finished building its massive 500-meter telescope made for finding extra-terrestrial life. To complete the mission, however, the government will have to relocate over 9,000 people. Apparently, the human chatter disrupts the “electromagnetic wave environment.” There is no report on how disgruntled residents are, though perhaps some are willing to sacrifice in the name of… science?

#pnut4prez: Donald Played A Dirty Little Trick On Jeb
The trolling among Republican candidates has reached a new level. When running for public office, candidates usually buy any and all relevant domain names during their campaign. It looks like someone (possibly everyone) on Jeb Bush’s campaign has been snoozing, and JebBush.com is now owned by Trump supporters. Seriously, try it. Type JebBush.com into your browser, and you’ll be redirected to Donald Trump’s website. Expert-level trolling. 

Keeping Our Eye On…

  • Nicolas Sarkozy: The former French President is under investigation for irregularities in his 2012 campaign funding. 
  • Russian Vodka: The export dropped by 42% this year, due to Russia’s many political tensions and “bad press.” It seems Russia’s activities in Ukraine and Syria were nothing to cheers about. 
  • Boutros Boutros: Former Egyptian UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali died at age 93 today. You can check out his interview with Ali-G here


How To Train For A Wild Animal Escape… In Japan As part of an annual training exercise, a Tokyo zoo forces its employees to practice how to act in the event a wild animal escapes from its enclosure. While the training sounds important, it loses its prestige when you discover that it involves an employee dressed up in a zebra onesie being chased by the other employees (no, really). It’s a hard to take the exercise seriously when the “wild animal” is your buddy in a halloween costume.

GOOD SLIDESHOW: Tokyo Zoo Capturing A ‘Wild Beast’

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