August 18, 2016

Trump Shakes It Up And Russia Fights Extremists


Muggles, rejoice! JK Rowling is releasing three new e-books on the secret history of Hogwarts, just in time for classes to begin.


#pnut4prez: Trump Assembles A New Squad

If there is one thing we learned on The Apprentice, it’s that Donald Trump is good at firing people. Hiring, however? The verdict is still out. With less than three months until Election Day, Trump is adding new officials to top posts overseeing his campaign. Kellyanne Conway will now be promoted from senior adviser to campaign manager, but Steve Bannon, wildcard and executive chairman of Breitbart News, will now be chief executive to the campaign. Bannon is known as something of a bare-knuckled loose cannon but that’s nothing compared to Roger Ailes, the recently ousted head of Fox News, who will also begin to advise Trump as he prepares for the presidential debates. This newly assembled rag-tag team of conservative media gurus are sure to turn heads this season.

Good Read: Bloomberg’s profile of Steve Bannon, “Most Dangerous Political Operative in America”

Potential Extremists Ruin A Perfectly Pleasant Afternoon

It would have been a pleasant afternoon had it not been for a shoot-out between Russian special forces and four suspected militants in broad daylight. Russian forces surrounded a 16-story building heavily armed and in balaclavas. Nobody bothered to evacuate the apartment complex before the counter-terrorism raid began but hopefully it didn’t disturb their afternoon soaps too much. The four suspected militants are considered leaders of “terrorist underground” in the North Caucasus and were killed during this unusual operation. Russia is no stranger to conflict in the North Caucasus: they’ve seen their share of extremism, terrorism, insurgency and a separatist situation or two. But it’s extremely rare that raids against suspected militants are carried out in St. Petersburg.


#BrazilNuts: Lochte Gets To Extend His Vacation

Who would want to leave Brazil? Fortunately for US swimmers Ryan Lochte and James Feigen, they don’t have to. A judge in Brazil issued an order preventing the Olympians from leaving the country after police queried their evidence in a robbery case. Turns out, Lochte and Feigen’s accounts of getting robbed at gunpoint in Rio don’t exactly coincide with CCTV recordings of the incident. Only problem: Lochte is already back in the United States. His lawyer says he returned to the US two days ago, before the judged issued anything. No word yet on whether he’ll return to the sunny shores to better explain his side of the story.

German Vice-Chancellor Gave A Bunch Of Neo-Nazis The Finger

There is a time and place for civil debate, but this wasn’t it. Video footage emerged yesterday that shows Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel letting a bunch of neo-Nazis know how he really feels about them. Gabriel was delivering a short speech at an election campaign event, when about 20 neo-Nazi protestors crashed the party, wearing masks and hurling insults like, “cultural Marxist.” Not the most dastardly thing we’ve heard shouted at a politician, even a center-left one. Gabriel remained patient until one neo-Nazi brought up Gabriel’s father – a Nazi sympathizer with whom Gabriel ended ties at 18-years-old – and screamed in German, “your father loved his country, and what do you do? You destroy it.” That was the last straw for the Vice Chancellor. There’s no leveling with masked Nazi hecklers, so he spoke the universal language of the bird.

Australia Does The Right Thing, Vaguely

Australia confirmed that they will close the controversial Manus Island detention center, after growing criticism of the practices held on the refugee detainment camp on Papua New Guinea. Thanks to the recently published Nauru files, Australia came under international pressure to end the Guantanamo-esque treatment of minors and asylum seekers. While this is a step in the right direction, the fate of the 854 people held at the Manus Island detention center remain unknown. The Australian government did not announce where the detainees will be moved but made it abundantly clear that they will not be accepting any of them into Australia for resettlement.

Keeping Our Eye On 

France: At least 60 people were injured in a train crash in France, while traveling between the southern cities of Nimes and Montpellier. The train did not derail but the first carriage was seriously damaged, leaving one person in critical condition.

Syria: An all-volunteer Syrian rescue group was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, have been credited for saving tens of thousands of people since they began volunteering in 2013.

Egypt: Angering journalists and feminists everywhere, the Egyptian Radio and Television Union swayed the state to go ahead and suspend eight women anchors until they lose weight. The ruling gave them a month to “slim down” and suggested they go on a diet.


Ohio Man Arrested For Having Sex With A Van

The dating scene is tough in Ohio. Just ask Michael Henson, the Dayton man who was taken into custody after witnesses found him having sex with the front grill of a parked van. Henson was discovered intoxicated and in shorts when the police arrived, still trying to get to know his new ride. He was charged with two counts of public indecency because the cops just don’t understand that Henson and the van really had a connection. Who knows, maybe this forbidden love will launch a new dating app. We would call it: Fender.

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Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: