November 15, 2016
Putin Assembles A Dream Team While Adult Friend Finders Get Hacked
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IN A NUTSHELL: MUST READ
France: It’s Nothing Personal, But We Don’t Care About UK Borders
According to a few insiders, the French government is “definitely” going to close its Calais border post that keeps refugees out of the UK. It’s nothing personal, the French will assure you, but protecting that border has been a “negative burden” and a favor they simply won’t feel obligated to do for the Brits after Brexit. The UK government obviously wants the Calais border post to remain in use, but many in France are still feeling snubbed by the Brexit referendum. Arnaud Danjean, a member of European Parliament for France’s main center-right party, told BBC, “It’s a consequence [of Brexit.] It’s not a punishment. It’s an uncomfortable consequence for Britain.” Many British voters chose Brexit in the referendum based on anti-immigration policy, but probably didn’t realize how much the UK relied on France’s cooperation to enforce its immigration policy and border patrol.
Lack Of Clarity On Direction Of Trump Presidency
Donald Trump celebrated #ManCrushMonday on a call with his favorite BFF Vladimir Putin. The two leaders spoke of normalizing relations between the two countries which they admit were “unsatisfactory.” A US-Russian reconciliation would go a long way towards deescalating tensions and the threat of nuclear war between the two countries, as well as allow them to coordinate on fighting ISIS. It could, however, mean that Ukraine would lose Crimea and that Syrian rebels would lose what little support they had from the US. Meanwhile, the Trump team spent most of Monday defending the appointment of the controversial Steve Bannon of Breitbart News to the post of Chief of Strategy. Bannon’s publication is accused of being a voice for the alt-right and giving credence to white supremacists, but it has also been the voice of anti-establishment conservatism, the same movement that allowed Trump to beat his Republican rivals and propelled him to the White House.
A note on our coverage of President-Elect Trump:
Covering President-elect Trump represents unique challenges. Some of these challenges are due to his unique persona, some to the nature of the campaign and some to the highly polarized state of the country. We will continue covering the President-elect the way we have over the past few days and the way we would any other President-elect, that is to say we will analyze his policy proposals, try to explain which direction he is going and add a healthy and much needed dose of snark. If you think Trump is an existential threat to democracy, then we will sound like the band on the Titanic discussing which song to play next. If you think Trump is the greatest thing since sliced bread, then you will take offense at the tone. Either way, we will continue giving Trump the respect, and disrespect, that we reserve for those that occupy the seats of power. We owe you, our readers, that much. If you have an opinion that you would like to express, let us know and we can publish it on our Medium page or just send us an email. We read them all, even the profanity-infused hate mail.
NUTS AND BOLTS: SHOULD READ
Obama Uses Lame Duck Period To Discover Greece Is In Crisis
President Barack Obama finally decided to weigh in on the never-ending Greek crisis on Monday, calling for “meaningful debt relief” for the perpetually broke European nation. During the course of his Presidency, Obama has largely left Europe to handle their European problems, and just like in World War I, that policy hasn’t worked out so well. Europe’s been trying, and largely failing, to deal with Brexit, Grexit and possibly Frexit and Swexit as early as next year. Obama is preparing for his final trip as President which will take him to Greece and Germany, where he will try and assure people that NATO still exists, with a final stopover in Peru for some ceviche and a chance to lament the failure of the TPP to come into effect. China, which is quite excited at the prospects of a failed TPP, is launching its own version of the trade agreement which will, unsurprisingly, not include America.
Bulgaria’s President-Elect Already Scared Off The Prime Minister
The US isn’t the only country electing a political novice enamored with Vladimir Putin. Rumen Radev won Bulgaria’s presidential election with 59% of the vote and is a Russia-friendly Socialist who is already making the EU and older generations in the former Soviet bloc squeamish. Radev’s win was such a devastating blow to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, that the center-right leader immediately submitted his resignation. Radev’s win signifies further deterioration of Bulgaria’s relationship to the EU, seeing as his supporters are after a Bulgexit of their own. Bulgaria is currently the EU’s poorest state and tensions have existed for awhile. Although most key decisions are made by parliament, Borisov’s departure means Radev could have a stronger ally in the next Prime Minister. Meanwhile, Putin is achieving his ideal #SquadGoals for 2017.
This Year Was Bad But Just Be Thankful You’re Not A Polar Bear
It seems like no matter how bad we humans make things for ourselves, we are making it even worse for polar bears. The United Nations released new data that suggests 2016 will be the hottest year on record and a new high for the third year in a row. With their habitats rapidly melting, polar bears are suffering extreme population loss as well, and it looks like captivity is no bed of roses either. Yesterday, social media exploded with demands that a Chinese mall return Pizza The Polar Bear to her birthplace.
Pizza has been living in a shopping mall aquarium in Guangzhou, China, where people have gawked at her sad, desperate behavior and have labeled her “the saddest polar bear in the world.” Given the year polar bears are having, that really says something. But we would be miserable too if we had to live inside a shopping mall. Though the three-year-old bear is currently back in a zoo while the mall undergoes alterations, animals rights activists are arguing that no amount of renovation will make the mall suitable for a wild bear, or pretty much any creature that isn’t a teenager.
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KEEPING OUR EYE ON
Gwen Ifill: Journalists and fans alike are mourning the loss of Gwen Ifill, who died at age 61 after a battle with cancer. In 1999, Ifill hosted Washington Week in Review and became the first black woman to host a major political TV talk show. Most recently, she hosted PBS NewsHour and moderated a presidential primary debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Sweden: Six years after an investigation was opened, Swedish authorities are now questioning WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about a rape accusation. Sweden issued a warrant for Assange’s arrest back in 2010, but were posed by a prosecutor in Ecuador, where he was eventually granted asylum. Now, Swedish prosecutors will question him in Ecuador’s Embassy in London.
Don’t miss John Oliver’s monologue on the risk of normalizing President-elect Donald Trump.
LOOSE NUTS: FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT
People On ‘Adult Friend Finder’ Got Screwed By A Massive Hack
The adult hookup site AdultFriendFinder.com was hacked this week, leaving hundreds of millions of users exposed. The website claims to be the world’s largest sex and swinger community and they might be right, considering this hack includes data from 412 million accounts. If the numbers are accurate, this hack is one of the largest breaches in terms of accounts affected. Hopefully not too many of those users repeated passwords from other accounts, as this user data could create a domino effect for those who are vulnerable.
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