Belgium is late to the party, while France arrives a little too early
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October 28, 2016


Does opera have a place in modern theater? These drag queens think so. Read our interview with Heartbeat Opera and see Mozart in a whole new light.

In case the link didn’t work for some of you yesterday, be sure to check out Eurasia Group’s newsletter: Signal. You’ll hear from the greatest collection of international politics wonks the private sector has ever seen.


Oregon: So, Taking Over A Federal Building Is Okay Now?

The Bundy Brothers and their merry men who stormed Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge have been acquitted of felony charges for conspiracy and possession of firearms. In case you don’t remember, Ammon and Ryan Bundy led a small militia of armed men to break into federal property and occupy it for 41 days, creating a standoff where government employees could not enter their place of work because the militia was patrolling the land with deadly weapons. That is textbook treason, but done in the name of patriotism, so I guess they get a pass. In a statement, the FBI said it was “extremely disappointed in the verdict,” a sentiment that was echoed across the country. The seven individuals on trial may have argued that the takeover was a justified act of civil disobedience, but it serves as a slap in the face to both the feds and any American that was ever arrested for protesting peacefully. 

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Belgium Decides Not To Ruin Party... After Party Is Over

After days of intense negotiations, Belgium’s government finally decided to approve a free-trade agreement between the EU and Canada. The agreement was previously stalled when Belgium’s French-speaking Wallonia region blocked the deal for the entire EU. Belgian approval came too late for a signing ceremony that Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister/Prime Hunk, was hoping to celebrate on Thursday. Their eventual approval was welcome news in the EU, which is desperately trying to look like they are getting things done post-Brexit. 

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UK Learns How To Deal With Life Post-Breakup

While the EU was busy approving Canadian trade deals, the UK has also desperately tried to make it seem like life is great post-Brexit. The economy grew at a snail-like 0.5% growth in the last quarter, which was pleasantly surprising since analysts only expected about 0.3% growth. The economy was propelled by the service sector, making up for contractions across manufacturing and construction. The pro-Brexit crowd was jubilant by the news, happy to prove the Negative Nancies, who said the economy would crash after Brexit, wrong. It’s worth reflecting, though, that things are so bad now that 0.5% growth is considered good news.

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French Police Arrest Refugees They Claimed Weren't There

France was pretty quick to congratulate itself on closing and allegedly clearing the “Calais Jungle” refugee camp. Yet, less than a day has passed and French police have already begun arresting people in the supposedly empty camp – though the bulldozers have already moved in. NGOs working in Calais were told anyone left in the camp from Thursday afternoon onward without registration would be detained.

Some of the first refugees arrested were four unaccompanied minors, of the estimated 150 children still living in the camp. However, the detention of minors on the grounds of being confused, frightened and homeless, is just the cherry on top of the Calais clearing Sunday. What is perhaps even more compromising for the French authorities is that the shutdown which caused widespread panic, confusion and a network of fires, is being labelled as such a resounding “success.” It is worth mentioning here that when questioned about the fires, Prefect of Pas-de-Calais Fabienne Buccio declared it was “a tradition among the migrant population.” 

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More Earthquakes Shake Central Italy

Residents must begin putting the pieces back together after two earthquakes struck central Italy near the city of Vissa on Wednesday. There are no known fatalities from the 5.5 and 6.1 magnitude quakes, but thousands are now homeless. Many homes and churches in the area were already structurally weak from an earthquake that rocked the same region and killed 300 people in August. To make matters worse, first responders had to try to clear rubble and help potential victims during torrential rain and an estimated 200 aftershocks. The forecast for the next few months in central Italy includes frogs, boils and locusts. 

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Syria: The US believes it was either Russian or Syrian forces behind the airstrikes that destroyed a school in the Idlib province. At least 35 people died in the attacks, in what the UN says is the worst attack on a school since the civil war began. 

Jill Stein: The Green Party candidate in the US election came under fire yesterday after her tax returns revealed a few less-than-Green investments. Though she has often rallied against big banks and “Big Carbon,” Stein allegedly invested in several controversial firms, including Goldman Sachs and Exxon. 




Twitter is shuttering Vine and breaking hearts. Before it goes, here is the story of the 2016 election in 10 hilarious vines.



Wine Condoms: 99.9% Effective In Preventing Spills

Are you worried that you might be thought of us as the creepy, way-too-forward guy at the cocktail party? Why not whip out a condom for your wine bottle and remove all doubt? That seems to be the marketing strategy behind the latest innovation: Wine Condoms. The wine condom is just a bottle stopper but it’s also 99.9% effective in preventing pregnancies because you’ll look undateable. Simply remove it from its startlingly familiar packaging, pinch the tip and roll the latex down over your wine bottle. The wine condom is smaller in girth than its predecessor (at least we hope) but the packaging looks the same as a regular condom, so you might want to keep them separate. It’s hard enough to remember to use one of them after a night of drinking.

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15 Stories To Read This Weekend
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