Person of Mass Destruction
For Americans thinking of moving to Canada, they should perhaps consider moving to Sweden instead. The government is returning billions in taxes back to its citizens, and one town is looking to pay local officials to take an hour-long paid break each week to go home, cooperate, and copulate.
|IN A NUTSHELL: MUST READ|
North Korea and China’s Suddenly Frosty Relations: China, North Korea’s only international ally, recently stopped importing coal from North Korea after the country’s test launch of ballistic missiles. North Korea claims that China’s actions are the result of manipulation by good ol’ Uncle Sam. The frosty relations might also be a consequence of the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, as China was reportedly providing security for him.
Kim Jong-nam Killed by Weapon of Mass Destruction: A Malaysian toxicology report indicates that Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s leader, was killed by VX nerve agent. VX is a chemical weapon that the United Nations classifies as a weapon of mass destruction. Less than a drop of VX can kill a person. The group of assassins rehearsed the assassination several times in shopping malls days before the actual killing.
Chinese politics ever since the bloody cultural revolution has it that political leaders should refrain from attacking the family of their political foes. And seeing the brazen assassination of Jong-nam might be providing Chinese leaders another reason to reconsider how much support they provide North Korea.
Philippine President Arrests His Most Vocal Critic: Philippine Senator Leila De Lima, one of the staunchest critics of President Rodrigo Duterte, was arrested on charges of drug trafficking after fleeing from her residence to the Senate chambers. De Lima has called Duterte a sociopathic serial killer, and De Lima has spent much of the past few years trying to link Duterte to the deaths of thousands of people by deathsquads.
Since winning the Philippine presidency last year, Duterte has killed about 6,500 people in his campaign to eradicate drugs in the country. Some people fear for De Lima’s life as another Philippine politician, also jailed for drug charges last year, was killed by a policeman in his jail cell.
|NUTS AND BOLTS: SHOULD READ|
Liberté, Egalité…Brutalité?: Protests erupted in a Parisian suburb after alleged police attacks against a young black man. Protesters also took to the streets in Paris, with smaller gatherings forming all over the country. Four officers were charged on Monday, with charges ranging from rape to unauthorized use of violence. The incident, occurring in one of Paris’ more troubled suburbs Aulnay-sous-Bois, will likely be a contentious issue in France’s presidential election in May. A key policy of far-right National Front party candidate Marine Le Pen has been to “smoke out” the outskirts of large French cities, called the banlieues. According to Le Pen, such communities are more crime-ridden, a fact she attributes to high rates of immigration.
South Africa Still Part of the ICC, For Now: The South African High Court ruled that the country cannot withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) without parliamentary approval. But the fight over the country’s participation in the ICC is far from over. The African National Congress, the main proponent of withdrawal, will likely continue the fight and faces strong opposition from other members of parliament.
Some African leaders and the African Union (AU) have persistently claimed that the ICC unfairly targets African countries. Human Rights Watch argues however that most of the investigations on the continent are opened at the request of African governments or the UN Security Council.
|KEEPING OUR EYE ON|
Winning the Race to Mass Destruction: President Trump does not want the US to fall behind in the nuclear arms race and has said the US must be at the “top of the pack” when it comes to its nuclear arsenal. According to the non-partisan group Arms Control Association, Russia has 7,000 nuclear weapons while the US has 6,800.
Meanwhile Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, told a gathering of conservatives that Trump’s election had ushered in a new political order. He was especially vocal that the Trump administration’s war against the “corporatist, globalist media” would continue unabated. Bannon appeared with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to try and quell rumors of any political infighting.
On the other side, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told the BBC she believes the new political order that Bannon spoke of is indicative of the US “not experiencing the best of times.” At 83-years-old, Ginsberg is the oldest member of the US Supreme Court.
In case you were glued to the US election last fall and missed it, it seems that elderly Chinese men have been taking the fashion world and social media by storm. First, a Chinese fashion photographer made his grandfather famous by fancying him up in great hipster styles and taking perfectly posed photos, many with his grandpa flaunting the ubiquitous white earbuds of Generation Y. Meanwhile, an 80-year-old Chinese actor and artist known as the country’s “hottest grandpa” rocks the catwalk at designers’ shows.
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