April 08, 2016

Cameron Comes Clean, Putin Doesn’t






The New York Post thinks there is a killer planet rapidly heading toward Earth, but we won’t let it ruin our weekend. 

David Cameron Admits To Profiting From PanamaAfter three days of stalling, four partial statements and an eternity of awkwardly staring at the ceiling, David Cameron has finally admitted to profiting from a Panama-based offshore trust. The British Prime Minister owned shares in Blairmore, an offshore fund that was named in the Panama Papers. While he sold his stake for £31,500 just before taking office, Cameron was feeling extra open and wanted to point out that the £300,000 he inherited from his father might have also been from an offshore entity, since the estate was based in a unit trust in Jersey. The internet rewarded his honesty handsomely.   PNUT READ: Don’t be like Cameron. Hide your money here instead Panama And Putin: We Have ‘No Element Of Corruption’According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Panama Papers contain no element of corruption… well, by his standards anyway. Let’s not forget that the leak alleges almost $2 billion were funneled through a company owned by his long-time friend, godfather to his daughter and occasionally private cellist Sergey Roldugin. Instead, Vlad sees the leak as an American plot to destabilize his regime. He also took the time to note that even though his BFFs are all mentioned, he wasn’t personally named in the leak. Classic Putin.

To back his claim, he pointed to this tweet by Wikileaks, which asserted that the #panamapapers were a US-funded plot via USAID. Conspiracy theorists, already coming up with great theories why no US names have so far been released, will likely take their cue from Mr. Putin and run amok. GOOD READ: Suddeutsche Zeitung’s Piece On Putin’s Involvement


France Tries To Regulate The World’s Oldest ProfessionIn a well-meaning attempt to alleviate conditions for sex workers, French Parliament voted to legalize the soliciting of prostitution while outlawing the act of paying for prostitution. While the law is a fairly progressive take on attempts to outlaw the industry (it punishes those who pay for sex rather than prostitutes themselves), it does threaten to drive the industry underground where it would be more difficult to ensure safety for sex workers. Amnesty International and libertarian groups have both called to decriminalize the profession. 

Panama Promises To Make Some Changes Aware of the country’s abysmal reputation, President Juan Carlos Varela says he is determined to keep Panama’s image unscathed by the scandal… forgetting that Panama’s image before the leak still wasn’t great. The government plans to create an international panel of experts that will be tasked with ensuring transparency. We can only hope they’re not like FIFA’s “ethics” experts Cool Pope™ To Do A Little Greek Island HoppingBeing the “world’s most popular leader” can be exhausting, so Pope Francis could probably use a vacation on the Greek Islands. However, it seems like his upcoming trip on April 16 will mostly be docked in Lesbos, where hundreds of thousands of refugees have also landed after fleeing the Syrian War. The Pontiff will be using this trip to show his support of refugees and draw attention to the frontline of Europe’s migration crisis. No word yet if Pope Francis will engage with some of the other tourist activities that attract people to Lesbos. Keeping Our Eye On…
  • Syria: More than 300 employees of the al-Badia Cement Company near Damascus have been abducted after an ISIS attack earlier this week. While it was originally thought that “dozens” of staff had disappeared, Syria’s Ministry of Industry confirmed that the estimate was now in the hundreds.
  • Bangladesh: Hundreds are protesting the murder of Nazimuddin Samad, a secular activist and law student who was hacked to death by at least four people in Dhaka after he criticized Islamism on Facebook. 
  • North Korea: The country is prepping for its first congress of the Workers’ Party in 36 years. To build excitement, Kim Jong-un has kicked off a 70-day campaign to mobilize people around the country, but people aren’t really sure what they’re celebrating. 


Bavarian Town Finally Strips Hitler Of His ‘Honorary Citizenship’“Hindsight is 20/20” might as well be Tegernsee’s town seal. The small Bavarian town once made Adolf Hitler an “honorary citizen” after he was made Chancellor in 1933, but didn’t get around to removing him from the list until yesterday. The not-so-minor oversight was due to the law that says “honorary citizenship” is automatically taken away from those who had been convicted of war crimes. Everyone assumed he had already been stripped of the honor. The problem: Hitler was never convicted before his death. After the unanimous vote to remove the honor, Mayor Johannes Hagn said that the town hopes “to make up for lost time.”

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