Trump Gives Turkish President a Thumbs Up


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Egos, Sabers, and Nukes–North Korea Goes All In: At a last minute news conference held at UN headquarters on Monday, North Korea’s UN deputy representative (yes, they have one) Kim In Ryong said he hoped everyone had a good weekend and then warned of thermonuclear war. What a fun job! He then went on to condemn the US naval buildup in the waters off the Korean Peninsula and the US missile attacks on Syria. Calling the Korean Peninsula “the world’s biggest hotspot,” he railed against the US for introducing its “huge nuclear strategic assets, seriously threatening peace and security of the Peninsula and pushing the situation there to a brink of war.”

On the same day but on the other side of the world, US Vice President Mike Pence issued a full-fledged security guarantee to acting South Korean president Hwang Kyo-ahn, describing the American commitment to the country as “iron-clad and immutable.” Pence, perhaps stating the obvious since the Trump administration has already revealed its trigger-happiness in Syria and Afghanistan, also warned North Korea that the country “would do well not to test [Trump’s] resolve.” That quote that sounds right out of a Hollywood summer blockbuster. Independence Day, anyone?


President Trump Congratulates Erdogan on His Consolidation of Power: Joining leaders from Qatar, Guinea, Djibouti, and Hamas, US President Trump congratulated Turkish  President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his referendum win, which Turkey’s main opposition party is seeking to invalidate. The changes proposed in the referendum, if implemented, could allow Erdogan to stay in power until 2029–making it possible that he would be Turkey’s president or prime minister for 26 years straight. Has Erdogan been reading The Seven Habits of Highly Autocratic Big Men? If he stays in power until 2029, he could be in charge as long some of these really lovable men. Plus, it’s good news for Turkish schoolchildren–no need to remember a long list of presidents or prime ministers, as the latter position would be eliminated! Bring on the pop quizzes!


Energy Crisis Hits Gaza, UN Warns Conditions Becoming “Unlivable”: The only power plant in the embattled Palestinian coastal enclave has run out of fuel, leaving 2 million people with only four hours of power a day. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza blame each other for the energy shortage, while the Gaza Ministry of Health on Monday issued warnings that without electricity up to 250 surgeries a day would be cancelled. The dispute over fuel is the latest dust-up in a long-running feud between the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority and Hamas, a militant Islamist group that ousted Fatah when it took over Gaza in 2007. The power shortage is just one more in a long list of problems facing Hamas-controlled Gaza, which is also dealing with with soaring unemployment, a lack of drinkable water, and the Israeli land and sea blockade.


The Artist Formerly Known as Alex Jones: Alex Jones is a far-right American radio show host, filmmaker, writer, and conspiracy theorist who runs and hosts (what else?) The Alex Jones Show. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes him as “the most prolific conspiracy theorist in contemporary America.” He’s claimed that the US the government faked the moon landings. If he shares that theory with Buzz Aldrin, he might get his ears ringed. But far worse, he also says that the US government staged the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School using actors. His ex-wife is currently seeking custody of their three children as she believes he is “not a stable person” and is concerned about the fact that he broadcasts his radio show from home in the presence of their children. However, Jones’ lawyer has argued that Jones is “a performance artist” and like any great method actor takes his role seriously and is “playing a character.”

Jones would make DeNiro proud as the latter has only transformed into his roles briefly–remember Jake La Motta in Raging Bull? But Jones, being a consummate actor, has completely lost himself in his role (who watches this stuff?!). Now it’s up to a Texas jury to determine if Jones’s on-air persona is different from his off-air persona. Yes, you read that right. Texas is the only US state where a jury can be called in to decide on custody battles. 

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