October 10, 2016

The Debate Gets Ugly, Yemen Gets Messy And ‘Stag Partiers’ Get Arrested


The last two years have marked a significant increase in attacks on cultural heritage sites. Though they’re gone, here are a few historic landmarks you should remember.


 #pnut4prez: A Night Of Burning Bridges

Tensions were high before the debate kicked off last night. Over the weekend, Wikileaks released excerpts of Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street speeches, where she described herself as out of touch with the middle class and having a “private position” on issues that differ from her public position. On a normal day, these leaks would dominate the news cycle, but to her relief, she was overshadowed by leaked footage of Donald Trump making lewd and perverted comments in which he bragged about trying to sleep with a married woman and go as far as assaulting women by “grab[bing] them by the p***y.” The leak was so damning that it forced Trump to do something he hadn’t done yet: sort of apologize.

Needless to say, the weekend was generous in giving both candidates ammo to prepare for last night’s debate. If you had the good fortune of missing last night’s battle, here are the highlights:

  • Anderson Cooper went after Trump asking him to comment on the leaked video of Trump joking about sexual assault. Trump dismissed it as “locker room talk” and didn’t appear to show remorse. Instead he deflected toward the topic of ISIS, because at least he wasn’t “beheading people.”
  • We thought the debates couldn’t get more contentious, but last night got ugly. Trump called Clinton the devil, and went so far as to suggest she’d be in jail if he won the Presidency… a classic dictator move.
  • Clinton also got a few digs in, dismissing Trump by prodding into his abandonment issues. “Okay, Donald. I know you are into big diversion, anything to avoid talking about your campaign and the way Republicans are leaving you.”
  • Trump and Pence’s rocky relationship was heightened during the debate. If it wasn’t clear the dynamic duo are at odds since the release of Trump’s remarks about women, it became blatantly obvious that they aren’t getting along when Trump flat out said he had not spoken to his running mate and disagrees with him about his strategy in Syria.
  • Trump fought with the moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz, complaining that they were cutting him off and favoring Hillary Clinton. He spoke more than Hillary Clinton by one minute. We also expect him to blame another potentially faulty microphone causing him to sniffle some more.
  • And lastly, for those of you who were curious, the fly wasn’t just on your screen. #fly2016

Trump was able to stop his campaign from completely falling apart… for now. Clinton, who is benefiting from positive momentum in her favor, drew out his biggest weapons (Bill Clinton’s history, Benghazi, emails) and was able to escape relatively unscathed.


 Matthew Annoyed That He’s No Longer A ‘Hurricane’

Sure, Matthew got downgraded to a “post-tropical cyclone” but that didn’t stop him from doing damage to the southeastern seaboard of the United States. The death toll in the US passed 17, with North Carolina receiving some of the hardest damage on its coast, record-breaking flooding and at least eight casualties. Meanwhile, Matthew’s effects continue to worsen in Haiti, where the death toll is approaching 900 lives and tens of thousands are left homeless. Just when we thought Haiti’s problems couldn’t get any worse, the country’s weakened infrastructure caused sewage to mix in with the flood water and spread. Because of that, Haiti now has to combat outbreaks of cholera, which is expected to take more lives.

Russia: I Swear These Missiles Are Harmless

Russia’s efforts to bring back the Cold War continued apace over the weekend with their latest move to deploy nuclear capable missiles in their Black Sea enclave of Kaliningrad, conveniently located in the heart of Europe. Russian-Western relations have steadily deteriorated ever since Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine and the subsequent deployment of NATO forces in Eastern Europe. It seems that Russia is using the continued implosion of the US political class, otherwise known as the 2016 election, as cover to make a series of aggressive unilateral moves. Over the past few weeks they’ve suspended a series of nuclear-related agreements, which will only make things difficult for the next US president, even if it will be Putin’s “brother from another mother” Trump.

PNUT READ: Our Profile of Vladimir Putin

Yemen Airstrikes Make The US Rethink A Few Things

The United Nations estimates that at least 82 people died from an airstrike on a funeral gathering in Sanaa, Yemen on Saturday. The attack was allegedly from Saudi-led warplanes, creating some awkwardness for the Western countries backing Saudi Arabia’s campaign against Yemen’s Houthis. The White House, eager to remove itself from civilian casualties but not so eager to further strain its relationship with Saudi Arabia, announced its “immediate review” of US support for the 18-month-long military push against the Houthis, a strategy that has long been criticized for frequent civilian deaths, estimated at 3,800 people.

Yemen Explained: The War No One Understands


Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in trying to end the 52-year war between Colombia and FARC rebels. Sure, the actual peace deal still hangs in the balance, but it’s the thought that counts.

Ethiopia: After months of anti-government protests, Ethiopia has declared a state of emergency. Protests took a more violent turn after last Sunday, where 55 people were killed during an Oromo festival.

ISIS: New data from defense analysts IHS shows that ISIS-controlled area has shrunk by 28% since its peak in early 2015. While an important victory, the rate of territory loss appears to have slowed since Russia began scaling back their air strikes against ISIS and focusing on other targets in Syria.

UK: The Bank of England is joining other central banks to investigate the GBP’s dramatic plummet on Friday, when the pound briefly dropped 6% overnight. Potential causes range from a “fat finger” error to computer-generated trade.


 ‘Stag Party’ Travelers Arrested After A Man-Bun Airline Brawl

A 10-year-old boy was hit over the head with a wine bottle on a Ryanair flight after a brawl erupted from drunken lads on a “stag party” vacation… all because of a passenger’s man-bun. This sounds like a headline generator that used only the most grievous buzzwords of British travel. Families watched in horror as the stag party clashed with other passengers on a flight from Edinburgh to Alicante, Spain, all because one passenger snapped after a stag party member repeatedly shouted “topknot” over and over again, taunting someone’s man-bun. The fighting reached such ridiculous levels that a child was injured when someone threw a travel-sized wine bottle. It’s bad enough traveling with Ryanair, but being subjected to a brawl reserved for outside the pub really seals the deal. Spanish officials were waiting to escort the revelers upon landing.

Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: