August 04, 2016

Nicaraguan Nepotism And Turkish Overreach


An attack in London last night left one dead and five injured. At time of writing Police were still investigating the incident but hadn’t ruled out terrorism as a motive. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for important updates during the day.


Earth To Turkey: Maybe Take It Down A Notch?

Council of Europe’s Secretary General Thornbjorn Jagland is visiting Turkey this week, making him the most senior European official to visit since last month’s attempted coup. Jagland has the uncomfortable job of breaking the news to Turkish President Erdogan: these anti-coup measures – like detaining 18,000 or sacking over 70,000 people from their jobs – maybe went a smidge too far. Trying not to make it too awkward, Jagland stood next to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and told the media that the coup attempt had been “outrageous.” But then he reminded them that democracy must continue to be the name of the game, adding, “but it is important that this is done in conformity with the rule of law and the standards in the European convention on human rights and the case law of the Court of Human Rights.”

How did Turkey take the news?

Jagland received a warm welcome at first, despite arriving just after President Erdogan accused the West of supporting terrorism against Turkey. It’s unlikely Erdogan will slow down any time soon. He’s already moved to the sports and entertainment sector, where he fired nearly 100 people, including referees, from the Turkish football federation. (In Erdogan’s defense though, haven’t you always wanted to fire a referee for a bad call?) Europe and the US may insist that Turkey returns to more democratic methods of handling the coup, but those requests will fall on deaf ears if the US continues to harbor the exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen.

House Of Cards Has A Nicaraguan Real-Life Version

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has long been accused of trying to consolidate his family’s power over the government, but this might be taking it a bit too far. Ortega is hoping to win his third consecutive term and picked a House of Cards-esque vice-presidential candidate that doesn’t exactly jive well with everyone already accusing him of nepotism: his wife. The 70-year-old politician ruled Nicaragua from 1979-1990, after his Sandinista movement overthrew the US-backed Somoza regime. He then returned to office in 2006, but in all that time, never learned how to balance a ticket. You would think Rosario Murillo already has enough on her plate as both the First Lady and the government’s Communications Chief, but a VP candidacy shouldn’t stretch her too thin.


 #pnut4prez: Making Up Is Hard To Do

Donald Trump’s recent battle with the Khan family sent the GOP into an existential crisis: how could the party known for its unyielding support of the military justify such attacks? Carefully. Senator John McCain and others criticized Trump but continued to endorse the presidential candidate, unable to pull the trigger and cut their support completely. But Trump is no fan of pussyfooting around. In retaliation, Donald Trump refused to endorse McCain or House Speaker Paul Ryan in their respective primary fights. There are highly believable rumors circulating that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is livid. Trump’s refusal to endorse his frenemies most likely won’t hurt McCain or Ryan, but it proves that not only is the GOP far from unified, but the divisions are getting deeper.

Good Read: The Quandary Of The Anti-Trump Republicans

A Crash Landing in Dubai

The usually reliable and increasingly expensive Emirates airlines suffered a scare yesterday when one of its planes crash-landed at Dubai International airport. The Boeing 777 was flying to Dubai from Thiruvananthapuram, India. All 300 people on board were able to escape the burning aircraft, but one firefighter was killed. The Emirates cabin crew handled the situation and carried out evacuation procedures, ensuring that all the passengers were able to leave the aircraft safely.

Thailand Referendum Offers Two Options: Yes Or Yes

Thailand’s military government will hold a referendum on Sunday to seek approval for a new constitution. Sure, the country has swept through 19 different constitutions since 1932, but this one is serious. If citizens vote “yes” to accepting the draft constitution, it would give their current interim, military-backed National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) party some legitimacy ahead of next year’s elections. However, human rights groups believe the new constitution would give too much power to the unelected NCPO and would give them influence beyond their interim tenure. Luckily, there is this referendum, right? Not so fast: not only are the “no” voters claiming a targeted suppression of their campaign, but it seems like their vote will be futile anyway. When Prime Minister Prayuth was asked about the possibility of the referendum resulting in a “no,” he said he would simply write another one himself.


Syria: Government forces apparently gained ground following a rebel offensive in the city of Aleppo. The fighting continued through the weekend, when rebels started trying to break a government siege of rebel-held areas. About 250,000 civilians are living under siege since the government cut them off last month.

India: Two people are dead and twenty are missing after a bridge on a highway connecting the Indian cities of Mumbai and Goa collapsed over the Savitri River, sending two buses falling into the water below. High pressure from the flooding of the river caused the collapse. A rescue effort is currently underway.

China: A prominent Christian church leader has been sentenced to jail by Chinese courts, the latest during a week of activist trials and public confessions. The man, Hu Shigen, was a leader of an underground church movement and sentenced to seven years in prison.


London Is Getting A Fellatio Cafe

We’ve got good news for caffeine addicts and other types of adrenaline junkies: the “fellatio cafe” that is expected to open in Geneva this year will open a second door in London as well. Finally, a one-stop shop that offers almond milk lattes and oral sex – both with extra foam! The plan is to erect a small but charming Baroque-themed cafe where each patron is handed an iPad with their cronut. The customers will then scroll through thumbnails and select an escort to perform fellatio. With a base charge of £50, it’s getting billed as “the most expensive coffee in the UK.” The legality of this business is still a bit complicated. While prostitution is legal in Great Britain, running a brothel is not. But founder Bradley Charvet is hard at work to make this a reality and insists that his lawyers won’t blow it.


Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: