May 18, 2016

Upset Saudis, Close Races And Cheating Olympians




Bad news, globetrotters. It’s not even Summer yet and TSA wait times are becoming longer than usual. Chicago’s O’Hare Airport is suggesting travelers arrive three hours early. Good news for airport bars, at least. 



Saudi Arabia Is Pissed Over The 9/11 Bill

The US Senate voted unanimously – really, they all agreed on something – to let families of 9/11 victims sue Saudi Arabia in the event the country or its representatives played any role in 9/11. Saudi Arabia has threatened to sell up to $750 billion in US assets if the bill becomes law. Obama has threatened to veto the bill but it likely that Senate Democrats would vote to override his veto. 

Why is this important now?

The final 28 pages of the 9/11 report that deal with the foreign government’s role in helping the 9/11 hijackers have long been classified. Some Senators involved with writing that report have recently been involved in a push to declassify those pages. When their efforts faltered they pushed for other ways to hold Saudi Arabia responsible for its alleged role and thus this new bill was born. Saudi Arabia, already peeved at the Iran Deal and a perceived rapprochement with Iran, is quite upset.  

#pnut4prez: Kentucky Has Us On The Edge Of Our Seat

Democrats had their own Kentucky Derby last night that had gamblers wringing their hands. The Kentucky Democratic primary left a razor thin margin between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, making it too close to call even with 99% of the precincts reporting. Sanders picked up Oregon in a predictably easy sweep because we all knew Portlandia felt the Bern, but Kentucky proved to be the real battleground. 

#pnut4prez: Our Guide to the Campaign Trail



Mexico Considers Legalizing Gay Marriage

During an event to commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed legalizing gay marriage at the national level. Although same-sex marriage is already legal in Mexico City and a few states, a national ruling would signify a milestone in Latin America’s evolving attitude towards marriage equality. Yet, a recent survey published by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) shows that anti-LGBT views still prevail in most countries. After polling 96,000 people across 53 UN member states, ILGA found that two-thirds of adults would be upset if their child was gay, and only a quarter find it acceptable if a boy dressed as a girl.

Good Read: The ILGA’s Full Report On Global Attitudes Toward LGBT


Several Cheaters Could Be Banned From Rio Olympics

The Rio Olympics could be missing up to 31 athletes this year now that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) retested 454 selected doping samples from the 2008 Games in Beijing. This comes just one week after a whistleblower alleged Russian secret service agents helped athletes cheat the drug tests in Sochi. “Dopers have no place to hide,” said IOC President Thomas Bach, forgetting that Beijing and Sochi were both rife with cheaters, apparently. The IOC keeps these doping samples for 10 years so that they can identify cheaters eventually

Vienna Talks Grapple With Definition Of ‘Ceasefire’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry had a hard time yesterday when they tried to “restart” a ceasefire that never actually started. The duo co-chaired a meeting of the International Syria Support Group in Vienna where there was talk of humanitarian aid and even transitional governments, but no concrete plans despite the ticking clock. If a transition is not in place by August – a stated goal in the Vienna group’s first meeting last Autumn – Saudi Arabia has hinted that it may provide heavier weapons to rebel forces.

Pnut Read: A History of the Syrian Civil War



Kenya: Police have launched an internal investigation after footage emerged of a police officer beating and kicking an unconscious man. The violence caught on camera took place during an election protest.

India: Five men died trying to restore a drinking well in northern India, a region currently suffering from severe drought. Northern states have criticized India’s Supreme Court for failing to acknowledge the water shortage problem, which has already claimed 300 lives. 

Thailand: Hoping to reverse the negative effects tourism has had on its coral reef, Thailand is banning visitors from the overcrowded Koh Tachai island. 


Man Fined For Driving Three Trucks Stacked Together

CCTV reported that a Chinese man decided to DIY a three-car pile up by actually piling three trucks on top of one another and driving them down a freeway. The “ménage à trucks” resulted in a fine and some internet fame, but this isn’t the first time Chinese drivers got creative with shipping large vehicles. Stacking trucks, although hazardous to other drivers, is an increasingly popular shipping solution. 


Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: