May 13, 2016

New Brazilian President, Same Unpopularity And A Budding Bromance?




Even after eating dog food, Serena Williams is unstoppable. The tennis legend fell ill after sampling some of her dog’s meal, but went on to win the Italian Open anyway. 



Brazil’s New President Is Already Unpopular

With Dilma Rousseff suspended from office and awaiting trial for her alleged fiscal wrongdoing, all eyes are on Vice President Michel Temer, the smooth talking legal scholar and sometimes poet who will now assume control of South America’s largest nation. Despite his book of sensual poetry titled Anonymous Intimacy, the Brazilian public are not wooed. Not only has he been named in corruption investigations as well, but his popularity ratings are even lower than Rousseff’s in recent polls.

So will he stick around?

Temer might only be the interim president, but given the overwhelming margin by which Rousseff lost in the Senate vote, it’s likely he’ll finish off her term through 2018. With a corruption investigation looming, he will have to overcome the public’s deeply embedded distrust if he wants to keep the presidency. He’s off to a “stellar” start though, appointing an all white male cabinet – three with corruption allegations of their own – in a country with deep socio-economic and racial divides. Strong move, Temer. 


#pnut4prez: Trump & Ryan Build A Bromance

Donald Trump went speed-dating on Capitol Hill yesterday, meeting with top Republicans in the House and Senate trying to unify a party he worked so hard to divide during his primary campaign. Things got awkward when Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan kept trying to one-up the number of aides each person invited to the meeting. But the two, who have had their differences recently, seemed ready to overlook the past with what sounded like a conciliatory joint statement. Ryan and other GOP leaders have yet to endorse the candidate though, as they struggle to come to terms that they may have lost the party to The Donald.

Good Read: The Great Republican Revolt By David Frum



Iran Is So Fed Up With Saudi Arabia, They’re Skipping Hajj

Iran’s relationship with Saudi Arabia has become so icy that Iran would rather skip the pilgrimage to Mecca – a religious duty and pillar of Islam – than have to work with Saudi Arabia. Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati said that the country would not be participating in this year’s hajj because negotiations over visas and transportation completely broke down between the two countries. Iran heavily criticized Saudi Arabia’s handling on the deadly stampede last year that left over 2,000 pilgrims dead, more than 400 of whom were Iranian. It will now be impossible for Iranians to visit Mecca this year.


George Zimmerman Tried To Auction His Murder Weapon

In what some might call bad taste, George Zimmerman tried to auction the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenage boy. Zimmerman, who was acquitted for the 2012 shooting, tried to auction the murder weapon on GunBroker but was removed from the website after a representative from the site said they “wanted no part in the listing.” He is now trying to sell the gun through United Gun Group at a starting bid of $5,000. In what has become one of the most inappropriate victory laps since his acquittal, Zimmerman bragged about the gun’s popularity, calling it a “piece of American history.”


Hey Glass Ceiling Breakers: The Vatican Might Be Hiring

Cool Pope Francis is known to praise the “feminine genius” but now he’s being asked how women can play a larger role in leading the Catholic Church. Pope Francis responded by saying the Vatican should consider ordaining women as deacons, which is a significant promotion from the choir. This, of course, has been an issue that Catholic women have wanted to address for decades (centuries if you count Phoebe) and although it would still be short of the priesthood, ordaining women as deacons would be the first time the Catholic Church introduced women into an otherwise all-male clergy. 



Egypt: Activists are leveraging social media to demand the release of five members of Awlad el-Shawarea, a street performance group, after they were detained for mocking President al Sisi.

Guantanamo: Attorneys for Ammar al-Baluchi, one of the accused 9/11 co-conspirators, are asking for access to Camp 7, a secret area of Guantanamo. If approved, Camp 7 would be opened up to a UN torture watchdog for the first time. 

Deutsche Bank: The UK has sent a former managing director and an accountant of the firm to prison for making deals on stock markets using classified information.


Queen Elizabeth Wins £50 Tesco Gift Card

When your grocery list is known to reach £2,500 a week, every little bit counts. That’s probably why Queen Elizabeth looked relieved to have won a £50 gift card to mega grocery chain Tesco. The generous gift was bequeathed after the monarch’s horse, Barber’s Shop, won an equestrian event. However, it’s unlikely the Queen has ever shopped at a Tesco before, since their stores lack the royal warrants.


Weekend Reads:

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Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: