December 07, 2016
Merkel Tries To Win Friends While Trump Tries To Win At Twitter
Like it or not, the zookeeper who punched a kangaroo in the face got to keep his job.
If a kangaroo put your dog in a headlock, would you do the same? Tell us on Twitter!
IN A NUTSHELL: MUST READ
Merkel Is Desperate To Win ‘Everybody’s Pal’ In The Class Yearbook
In an effort to win back the approval of conservative voters, German Chancellor Angela Merkel backed a ban on niqabs and burkas in school, saying full-faced veils should be prohibited where it is “legally possible.” The decision is immensely disappointing to progressives who saw Germany as Europe’s last great defender of liberal values, but Merkel is more concerned with the threat posed by far-right fringe parties like AfD. Her approval rating dropped after nearly one million refugees and asylum seekers entered Germany, driving many of her center-right supporters to vote for the ultra-conservative fringe. It’s worth noting that very few women cover their faces in Germany and Merkel knows that a total ban on religious face coverings would violate Germany’s constitution. This ban is largely symbolic and is meant to make Merkel appear more compromising with her conservative critics, but will no doubt spring a new crop of critics on the left.
NUTS AND BOLTS: SHOULD READ
#Trumpdate: Policy Via Twitter Is Going To Be A Real Thing Now
Social media in politics has got its pros and cons. It can propagate fake news and hatred but it can also provide much needed transparency and allow politicians to react quickly to news. With Trump, it gives us an unvarnished look into the mind of the President-elect as he shoots off “decisions” with the grammar and self-awareness of an eight-year-old. Last week, following a call with Taiwan, he tweeted that Taiwan’s leader had “CALLED ME” (caps not added) implying that he wanted to walk back from the call so as not to needlessly provoke China. After a few days of media ruckus he then tweeted about how China hadn’t asked the US if it could devalue its currency or build up its military in the South China Sea, implying that he might actually want to needlessly provoke China. The problem is that most economists agree that China’s currency needs further devaluing (without US approval) and it isn’t exactly clear whether or not he is interested in provoking China. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Trump tweeted that he wanted to cancel Boeing’s contract for a new Air Force One because it cost too much. The Air Force issued a statement saying that canceling the contract is more “complicated” than tweeting about canceling while the rest of the world was basically: “it’s your plane, do whatever you want with it.” It isn’t clear if the contract will actually be canceled or not… Welcome to a brave new world of diplomacy people!
France Says Bienvenue To A New Prime Minister
Now that Manuel Valls resigned as Prime Minister in hopes to run for President, France was looking for a new leader. Current French President François Hollande named Bernard Cazeneuve as Valls’ replacement, who will carry out the Socialist government’s term in office for the remaining five months. After a lively 48 hours, Cazeneuve will most likely balance things out with his humdrum demeanor. The lawyer-by-training is known for his discreet personality and calm pronouncements, most notably when he served in the interior ministry during the terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice. Cazeneuve will soon be naming his government, but it’s unlikely that he’ll do much reshuffling, so these next few months will feel like the calm before the election’s storm.
Egypt Busted A Huge Organ-Trafficking Ring
Healthcare in Egypt might not be as cheap as you think. Egyptian authorities arrested 25 people – many of whom doctors, nurses and professors – suspected of leading an international organ trafficking ring. It is illegal to purchase organs in Egypt, but extreme poverty drives some to sell their own body parts, tempting exploitative doctors. Authorities seized computers from 10 centers and found millions of dollars and gold bullion in their raids. Egypt passed several laws to curb the trade, but these organ traffickers don’t exactly have hearts. UN Secretary-General-designate Antonio Guterres said it’s not uncommon for migrants in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula to even be killed for their organs.
KEEPING OUR EYE ON
Indonesia: A 6.4-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Indonesia’s Aceh province has killed at least 24 people. The underwater quake destroyed dozens of buildings in Sigli on the Sumatra Island, but at this time, Indonesia’s meteorological agency said there was no risk of a tsunami.
Bolivia: Authorities arrested Gustavo Vargas, a retired air force general who was head of the airline involved in the crash that killed 71 people, including most of the Chapecoense football team. The LaMia airline flight was taking the team to Colombia when it ran out of fuel.
LOOSE NUTS: FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT
City Spends $100k On Wind Power, Left With A Lot Of Hot Air
Not all environmental projects are created equal. City planners and council members in Port Angeles, Washington are now regretting the three windmill-like turbines that stand motionless on the city’s waterfront. The $107,516 turbines were erected over two months ago but have not done much because the city is involved in an inspection-related dispute with the manufacturer. If and when the turbines are activated to generate electricity, they will only produce $1.50 worth of electricity a month in savings. The return on investment is over 50 years. They’re pretty much useless. Attempting to stay positive, Councilwoman Sissi Bruch said that the turbines do more than generate electricity, but actually “educate folks about wind power.” Something tells us the turbines aren’t giving the right impression.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU