August 12, 2016

Russia Holds War Games And A Thai Insurgency Hits Tourists


Congratulations to Michael Phelps, who beat the ancient Greek record in individual events with 13 gold medals. He now can count to his name 22 golds overall and 26 medals in total. Beat that, Zeus.


Putin Trades In Olympic Games With War Games

Well if you can’t compete in the Summer Games, it’s the next best thing. Just one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of trying to provoke conflict, and Ukraine responded by calling Putin a liar looking for an excuse to escalate hostilities, the Russian Navy announced war games in the Black Sea. Sounds friendly already. Ukraine is taking Putin’s belligerence seriously, ordering its troops to be on the “highest level of combat readiness.”

But what about the peace talks?

The European Union and the United States were basing their decision to lift financial sanctions imposed on Russia on the success of the Minsk process, but the talks haven’t been going well. Whether Putin lied about Ukraine’s recent “terror” attempts or not, the damage was done. Putin has already cancelled the planned talks about eastern Ukraine that were to accompany the G20 summit next month, and the escalated tension in the Black Sea could give Putin a pretext to abandon talks altogether.

Thailand Bombing Reminds People There’s An Insurgency

Two bombs went off in Hua Hin, a popular coastal resort on the Gulf of Thailand. The bombs were hidden in potted plants and detonated remotely by mobile phones, killing at least one woman and injuring 10 people. Bombings are more common in Thailand than many realize, especially in the country’s three southern provinces, which are wracked by an insurgency. In fact, it’s considered south-east Asia’s longest-running war, resulting in 6,300 people dead and at least 11,500 injured since 2004. However, tourist areas rarely feel these effects, and many tourists arrive in Bangkok and have a blast without ever learning or hearing about the longstanding violence between the ethnic Malays and the Thai state in the south. But it looks like that’s about to change.

This is a developing story. Follow Daily Pnut on Twitter for more updates.  


Germany Joins European ‘Tough-On-Terror’ Shift

Following a spate of terrorist attacks, Germany discovered that it might have terror “sleeping cells” in the country. The government announced new anti-terror measures yesterday including the ability to withdraw citizenship from dual-national citizens and deport foreigners convicted of criminal acts, as well as increased police and wider surveillance powers. Despite pressure from members of his own party and the far-right AfD party, Interior Minister Thomas de Maziere said he wouldn’t push for a full “burka ban” like France has. Chancellor Merkel’s government is in the difficult position of having to protect its citizens and appear tough on terror without bending to bigotry against migrants and minorities.

Turkey Is Just Having The Worst Year Ever

South-east Turkey suffered two separate bomb attacks yesterday, resulting in at least seven people killed and an additional 38 wounded. The twin bombings were nearly simultaneous, targeting passing police vehicles in the cities of Diyarbakir and Kiziltepe. Turkish authorities believe both blasts were carried out by the PKK, and while the government might as well be playing spin-the-bottle with guessing who is the blame for each attack, they have reasons to assume it is the militarized Kurdish party. Since the ceasefire between the PKK and the government ended last year, the PKK has made a point to target Turkish security forces and has killed hundreds of members since July of 2015.

Canada And US Share Borders, Intel, Bromance

Canadian police raided the home of Aaron Driver, an alleged ISIS supporter who was in the final stages of attacking a major urban center with a homemade bomb. Driver died after he detonated an explosive device in the backseat of a taxi as police closed in, though it is still unclear if he died from the detonation or he was shot by officers. Canada was able to identify Driver thanks to intel and a video provided by the FBI, a generous gift considering the US is run by a president who Donald Trump believes is the “founder of ISIS.” And yes, he meant that literally. When conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt tried to clarify the presidential candidate’s position, Donald Trump clarified and reiterated that President Obama was indeed the founder and “MVP” of ISIS.


Zambia: Following campaigns marred by violent clashes between rival supporters, Zambians voted in their presidential and parliamentary elections yesterday. In what is seen as a test for one of Africa’s most stable democracies, it looks to be a close race between President Edgar Lungu’s governing PF party and the opposition UPND party. The winning candidate must have more than 50% of the vote to avoid a run-off.

Syria: The UN is investigating evidence of a chlorine gas attack on the rebel-held city of Aleppo. The attack left four people dead and many injured. Rebels claim the attack was carried out by government forces, which if confirmed by the UN, would amount to a “war crime.”

HuffPost: Arianna Huffington, who co-founded the Huffington Post 11 years ago, announced that she will be leaving the company. After building one of the largest digital media companies in the world, she is leaving to launch a new company, Thrive Global. The start up will work with companies to improve the well-being of their employees.


Danish Company Offers Salary In Pokemon Go Currency

Gotta earn ’em all! When the Danish IT company Prosys found that traditional job advertising wasn’t doing the trick, they decided to get creative with their bonus package. Desperate to find more applicants for a recent job vacancy, the company is now offering to pay part of the salary in Pokemon Go’s virtual currency. We’re not talking Bitcoin; Pokemon Go currency is nothing but digital coins that will allot you “pokeballs” for hunting Squirtel. The director said the unconventional reward felt like a fun way to stand out with young jobseekers, and it will probably work until the millennials realize they can’t pay rent with pokeballs.


Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: