June 30, 2016

Turkey Puts The Pieces Together, Puerto Rico Gets Lucky



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Turkey Picks Up The Pieces Of The ‘Jigsaw Puzzle’

Investigators continue to piece together video footage and witness testimonies in what one official called “a jigsaw puzzle.” What we know so far is that three gunmen attacked Istanbul’s Ataturk airport and detonated explosives when police shot at them. The death toll climbed to 41 people confirmed dead and another 239 injured. Although no groups have claimed responsibility for the attack, ISIS and Kurdish militant groups have staged at least 14 major attacks across Turkey, killing more than 200 people in the last year. 

Why does this keep happening to Turkey?

Turkey is a key player in the US-led coalition against ISIS, although many criticize the Turkish government for targeting the Kurdish groups fighting ISIS rather than ISIS themselves. That preoccupation with the Kurds has put the country in conflict with both the US-allied Kurdish fighters and the Russian-backed Assad regime. Moreover, with Iraqi forces reclaiming control of Fallujah and Libyan forces taking Sirte from ISIS, the terrorist group is losing land left and right. Turkey just so happens to share a 200-mile border with Iraq and a 500-mile border with Syria, and it’s likely that the more ISIS loses territory, the more they’ll try to infringe on those borders.  

Pnut Read: The Origins Of ISIS


Puerto Rico Is Feeling Lucky At The Last Minute

A relief plan for cash-strapped Puerto Rico seems even more likely now that the bill passed the US Senate’s test vote on Wednesday. The US territory, still suffering from a decade-long recession and $70 billion in debt, was expected to default on a $2 billion debt payment that was due this Friday. This emergency bill is as last-minute as you can get before the debt collectors start calling at obnoxious hours. The bill already passed by the House earlier this month and would create a control board that would oversee the island’s finances, supervise debt restructuring and help create a fiscal plan for all those pension funds that the government had underfunded by more than $40 billion. Many Democrats are reluctant to support the bill because of how much control the board would receive, but Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged Dems to support it anyway even if it’s not perfect because they’re in a bit of a rush. 

Good Read: The Case To Let PR Just File For Bankruptcy The Way Detroit Did



Brexit: How Bad Is All This Really?

Markets breathed a temporary sigh of relief, or perhaps complacency, yesterday with the pound and stocks rising for their second day in a row. Economic indicators were less rosy with signs of weaker than expected consumer confidence, delayed infrastructure spending and Obama even weighing in with his own pessimistic prediction. George Soros, famous for “breaking the Bank of England,” addressed the EU parliament, warning of a catastrophic financial crisis worse than 2008 but also trying to see the glass as half full. Thanks for the optimism George. 


Body Parts Wash Ashore At Rio Olympic Venue

The Rio Olympics welcomed its first round of guests as mutilated bodies washed up on the scenic sands of Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, right next to where the beach volleyball athletes will be competing in six weeks. The upcoming events only continue to get more grim after Governor Francisco Dornelles warned that the Olympics could be “a big failure.” Beyond the political corruption, the spread of Zika virus and already stellar ideas from the planning team that erupted in death and international humiliation, Dornelles also told newspapers that the state has not yet received the approved federal funds to beef up security and transportation. But the event isn’t completely awash. Despite the body parts and the drug-resistant “super bacteria” in the water, the safest and most efficient way to get around might be to swim. 


Who Needs An EU When We’ve Got A North American Union?

Move over, EU. North America has become the new #squadgoals. While European countries continue to drift apart, the leaders of Canada, US and Mexico came together yesterday to mount a fierce defense of free trade and vow to deepen economic ties across the continent. While Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau likes to joke about his bromance with US President Obama, the duo have invited Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to the slumber party and are calling themselves The Three Amigos. Now they have more than just NAFTA; they have a new handshake!

Good Photo: The White House Actually Captions A Selfie With Trudeau And Obama As ‘Bromance’



Mexico: A judge in Mexico temporarily halted the extradition of cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the US after his lawyers filed appeals. El Chapo may get to wait months or even years before he is sent to the US, where he faces murder and drug smuggling charges.

Italy: The Italian Navy recovered an ex-fishing boat that capsized while transporting migrants. It’s believed that over 700 people died on this vessel after it collided with a Portuguese merchant vessel last April. 
India: In a major setback for LGBT activists, the Indian Supreme Court  refused to hear a petition that challenges a law criminalizing gay sex. Currently, violation of the law on gay sex can still result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years.


Belarusian President Accidentally ​Sparks International Striptease

Speechwriting 101 dictates that any phrase that can be taken literally will be taken literally, especially when it’s an excuse to get naked. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko must have missed that class because he urged his citizens “to get undressed and work until you sweat,” only to be surprised when they actually did. Thousands across the country and beyond began taking naked office selfies using the hashtag #раздеватьсяиработать (#getnakedatwork) as though it were their civic duty. Lukashenko decreed the international HR nightmare while giving a speech on the importance of technology to the national economy. He clearly didn’t intend for Belarusian naked office selfies to be the medium with which the international community engages with Belarus, but hey, it worked. 

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