August 11, 2016

Australian Detention Centre And Brazilian ‘Gymnastics’


We know some of you were super into our Oktoberfest offer (and others not… sorry), so we decided we’d give you another chance to go on a trip that might tickle your fancy… a trip for two to Greece including airfare and a four-night stay. Heads up that if you enter to win you might get emails from our partners. Enter to win here.


Greetings From Torture Island: Australia’s Worst Destination

The disturbing conditions of Australia’s detention center for children have been documented in the past, but yesterday The Guardian published 2,116 leaked incident reports from the infamous island of Nauru that paint an even more heinous picture. The leaked documents reveal cases of torture, sexual assault and self-harm, involving both juvenile detainees and asylum seekers. The stories emerging are so obscene we’d rather not make you read them this early in the morning, but you can read with caution here.

Nauru is still accepting applications.

Although juveniles were the victims listed in more than half of these reports, children make up only about 18% of those in detention on Nauru. Under current Australian policies, migrants who try to reach the country by boat without a valid visa are held offshore in Nauru, and even if they are given refugee status, they are prevented from resettling in Australia. That means new groups continue to arrive in Nauru and never leave. Currently, Nauru hosts 442 people in the Australian-run processing center. But then there’s an additional 500 other asylum seekers – including those who have been granted refugee status – who live outside the center but are still stuck on the eight-mile island.

#BrazilNuts: Olympics Shine While Dilma Despairs

It was another successful day at the Rio 2016 Olympics despite a little behind-the-scenes turmoil. That’s okay because fighting corruption is, after all, Brazil’s favorite Olympic sport. The Senate voted 59-21 to accept charges against former president Dilma Rousseff and put her on trial for breaking budget laws. The final vote will take place at the end of the month when the evidence has been presented, but the damage has already been done. A two-thirds majority is needed to remove her from office, which is five votes less than what her opponents put together yesterday. If she is impeached, the even more unpopular Michel Temer will see out the rest of her mandate until 2018.


Diplomacy 101: Don’t Address Your Allies With Slurs

How does that playground song go? “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but homophobic slurs will destroy diplomatic relations.” President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte is under fire for using a homophobic slur while referring to US Ambassador Philip Goldberg as a “gay ambassador” and “the son of a whore.” A teenager would be kicked out of their Model UN club for less. This probably won’t do wonders for his ties with the US and couldn’t come at a worse time. With China trying to claim virtually all of the South China Sea away from the Philippines, Washington and Manila have moved to deepen their longstanding military alliance. Fearing China’s increased militarization in the region and their own paltry defense capabilities, the Philippines upheld a defense pact that allows the US military to build facilities at five Philippine bases just in case. Duterte, however, doesn’t seem worried about annoying his allies. When Goldberg objected, he told him to “shut up.”

Ukraine To Putin: Stop Fantasizing About Us

In the latest Crimea saga, Putin has accused Ukraine of plotting terrorist attacks in the region to distract from their economic woes. He claimed that two Russian servicemen were killed this past week while confronting the alleged “plotters.” Ukraine President Poroshenko wants Putin to know that he’s no dummy and that “these fantasies are just a pretext for another portion of military threats against Ukraine.” Furthermore, Ukraine completely denies that the event ever took place, arguing that Russia is provoking them at a convenient time ahead of the G20 summit in China slotted for next month. So that Ukraine peace process meeting that was on the summit schedule with Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany? Yep, no longer.

DoJ Would Like Baltimore To Know That Black Lives Do Matter

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) released the findings of a probe into the practices of the Baltimore Police Department, and it does not hold back. The report said “supervisors issued explicatory orders” like “arrest all black hoodies.” The report focused on how police disproportionally stopped black residents despite data suggesting they were less likely to carry guns or drugs. Baltimore became a focal point of the nationwide #blacklivesmatter movement after last year’s death of Freddie Gray due to injuries sustained while in police custody. The subsequent fallout forced the Mayor to not seek reelection.

INTENSE READ: The Full DoJ Report


Madeira: Forest fires on the Portuguese island have left at least four people dead. More than 1,000 were evacuated while Portugal’s interior ministry requested help from the European Union.

Baghdad: Iraqis are mourning the deaths of 12 babies who died in a fire at the Yarmouk Hospital. The health ministry said the fire was probably caused by an electrical fault. Eight other children and 29 women survived and were transferred to nearby hospitals.

New York City: A man was spotted climbing the outside of Trump Tower using suction cups. Emergency Services and NYPD cut holes through grates in the building to intercept the climber. No word yet on what his end-game was, but he appeared to be some sort of hipster vigilante.


 ISIS Faces ‘Scaling Pains’ As It Tries To Internationalize

From management shakeups to rebranding/restructuring, terrorist groups can sometimes eerily resemble the American capitalistic system they are trying to burn to the ground. Most recently, ISIS discovered, that despite its apocalyptic ambitions, the group would have to deal with some very real, this world, HR problems. After recently firing the head of its West African affiliate, Boko Haram, and announcing a new leader, they were aghast to discover that the old guy was showing up to work anyway… a bit like Milton from Office Space except with an AK47 and a death cult instead of a stapler and TPS reports.

[related_posts_by_tax format="images" posts_per_page="4" taxonomies="category" orderby="post_date" order="DESC" image_size="thumbnail" before_title='

' after_title='


Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: