December 06, 2016

Confusion In Italy, Victory In Libya And A Good Time In Scotland


The hits keep coming in Montreal! If there was ever a reason to stay home, this gliding snowplow provides it.


 Italy: Mi Scusi, But What Do We Do Now?

Italy caught the “post-election confusion” bug this week as the country spent most of Monday trying to figure out what on Earth should they do now that they voted against the constitutional referendum. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who had promised to resign Sunday night, offered to stay on for a few days until Italy got its budget together so as to avoid a financial crisis or political turmoil and give everyone time to digest the news. It’s not like a departing Prime Minister is really “news” for Italy though. The country has seen “63 governments in the last 70 years,” an embarrassing fact that Renzi’s referendum was supposed to change. Renzi’s departure puts the bailout of a small Italian Bank, the Monte dei Paschi, at risk, holding up a key 1 billion euro investment from Qatar. If this relatively tiny bailout (AIG got more than $160 billion) fails to materialize, it could set off a series of events that brings down the Italian and European Banking systems, which are hardly in good shape anyway. The government is planning a state bailout to avoid that outcome. Just when you thought bailouts were no longer en mode…


 Amazon Is Getting Old Fashioned With Retail Shops And Heavy Surveillance

Amazon has already destroyed much of the brick-and-mortar retail industry with its online shopping ways, but now they plan to go after small shops with a new innovation: the very same brick-and-mortar shops they once destroyed. On Monday, the internet retail behemoth said it had opened a real-life, in-the-flesh, grocery store, kicking off a new competition with supermarket chains. But to prove they’re cooler than the average bodega, Amazon Go is doing away with check out lines. Instead, the store will use sensors to detect what items the shoppers are leaving the store with and then send a bill to their Amazon accounts. By blending an old-fashioned retail space with the latest surveillance technology, they’ve created a new consumer experience that feels both nostalgic and futuristic, kind of like 1984.

Libya: Where Defeating ISIS Is Still Not Enough

The good news is that ISIS has lost Sirte, their last major stronghold in Libya. Backed by US airstrikes, the Libyan Misrata brigades reclaimed Sirte, which ISIS had captured in early 2015, and at one point had access to 150 miles of Mediterranean coast. While this ought to be celebrated as a massive victory, Libya has to now direct its attention to other crises before it can allow the healing process to begin. There have been heavy casualties since the airstrikes began in August, and due to the lack of Libyan intelligence on the ground in Sirte, it’s anybody’s guess as to where the defeated ISIS fighters escaped over the last few months, which means they could still be in Libya or crossed one of the country’s largely unguarded borders. Not only that, but the Sirte victory isn’t going to resolve Libya’s fundamental political problems anytime soon. There is still a gridlock preventing the government from forming and eventually functioning: the Government of National Accord, or GNA, has little authority because Libyan parliament has refused to pass the constitutional amendments necessary to bring the GNA fully into constitutional existence. But we’ll still call this a victory, even in baby steps.

Pnut Read: The Origins Of ISIS


Standing Rock Activists Plan To Stick Around… Juuuust In Case

When the news feels too good to be true, sometimes you have to wait and see if it really is. Although the US Army Corps of Engineers denied a key permit for the Dakota Access pipeline, meaning that the pipeline will be rerouted so that it does not disturb the Standing Rock Sioux’s water supply or sacred sites, many are still worried it’s a trick. And perhaps rightfully so: the companies behind the pipeline – which are backed by the incoming Trump administration – insist that the project will still go ahead. And so the Sioux water protectors are celebrating with caution, intending to stick around to ensure that no company tries to reverse their victory.


Jayalalithaa Jayaram: The “Iron Lady” of Tamil Nadu died at age 68 after suffering from cardiac arrest. The famous actress-turned-politician became the first female chief minister to serve a full term in the southern Indian state. She was a polarizing figure: admired by some for creating programs to feed the poor, all while fighting frequent accusations of corruption in and out court. The Tamil Nadu government has announced a three-day period of mourning.

France: Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls is throwing his hat in the ring for next year’s presidential election. If successful, he will have to face Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen in the first round of the election in April.


 Man With ‘Bionic’ Penis Overwhelmed From Date Offers

When Mohammed Abad underwent the £70,000 prosthetic replacement surgery, it was just to alleviate some of the suffering he experienced after an earlier car crash. He had no idea he would become a hit with the ladies, but it just sort of sprung up on him. The 44-year-old Edinburgh local received what is known as the “Titan Touch Penile Prosthesis,” a mechanical penis constructed using skin and tendons taken from his arm. When news erupted, women all over Scotland reached out to Abad requesting a date. But Abad says it’s hard to date for a different reason, these days. “I work 14-hour shifts every day and by the time I get home I’m just too tired for sex.”

Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: