whackanarwhal

news you should know about

newsmongering 05/25

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> Working on a project a few days ago, one of my group members leaned over to look at my screen, blinked, and said, “Wow, how many tabs is that?”

> The Georgian parliament has voted to recognize the 19th century deportations and killings of Circassians by czarist Russia as genocide. Relations between Georgia and Russia have been tense in recent years, particularly since the 2008 South Ossetia War. From the New York Times:

Moscow is extraordinarily sensitive to any anti-Russian movements in the North Caucasus, a region on Russia’s southern border where it has been battling insurgents since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The declaration may also strengthen calls for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, which the Circassians consider part of their homeland.

> A Saudi woman is appealing top courts for the right to choose her own husband. That same week, Saudi Manal al-Sharif was arrested for uploading to YouTube footage of herself driving a car.

> The EU is backing Obama’s call for Israel to return to the 1967 borders. Israeli prime minister Netanyahu laughs at their naivete, but says that Israel will “make painful compromises.” I don’t believe anyone really thinks Israel would ever go back to the ’67 lines, but hopefully the international outcry will prompt Israel to compromise. Or at least consider compromising.

> China has confirmed that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il is visiting China for the seventh time “to learn more about its economic development.”

> Russia’s chief military prosecutor says that between corrupt officials, dishonest generals and crooked contractors, one-fifth of the Russian military budget has been stolen.

President Dmitry Medvedev says endemic corruption is holding back Russia’s development, but anti-bribery groups say the problem has become worse since Medvedev was steered into the Kremlin by his mentor Vladimir Putin in 2008.

“Huge money is being stolen – practically every fifth rouble and the troops are still getting poor quality equipment and arms,” chief military prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky told Russia’s official gazette, Rossiiskaya Gazeta. “Every year more and more money is set aside for defense but the successes are not great,” he said, adding that kickbacks and fictitious contracts were being used to defraud the state.

> Testing has confirmed former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s DNA in the semen found on the shirt of a maid of a Manhattan hotel. Additionally, an article in The Telegraph examines the culture of French male chauvinism as related to the Strauss-Kahn case:

“Why all the fuss? It’s merely a bit of hanky-panky with the help,” said Jean-François Kahn, the crusading editor of the Left-wing Marianne weekly. Jack Lang, a law don famous for having been François Mitterrand’s high-profile, graffiti-loving, diversity-fostering Culture Minister, dismissed it all rather infelicitously as an “overblown” affair: “Really, nobody died in that hotel room.”

And following Strauss-Kahn’s resignation, Foreign Policy argues that Europe should not be able to choose one of their own as the new IMF director:

As the region most desperately in need of IMF loans — and IMF-guided discipline — Europe shouldn’t get to choose the person with the greatest influence over the terms. The blatancy of that conflict of interest ought to prick the conscience of even the most hard-boiled believer in realpolitik. And the handling of the eurozone crisis to date has already aroused widespread misgivings that Europe’s most powerful governments are using their sway over IMF policy to obtain deals that suit their political interests.

> Foreign Policy believes incumbent Russian president Medvedev will stay in power for another term.

> Britain has officially pulled out of Iraq.

> Jim Daly, the president of Focus on the Family, says that the right has “probably lost” on gay marriage. Bwhah ha ha ha. Although, as Mother Jones says, this isn’t a cease-fire:

Daly merely thinks that Christians need to get their own marriages in order before lecturing from the moral high ground: “What if the Christian divorce rate goes from 40 percent to 10 percent or 5 percent, and the world’s goes from 50 percent to 80 percent? Now we’re back to the early centuries. They’re looking at us and thinking, ‘We want more of what they’ve got.'” As he puts it, “we should start with how to get dads reconnected to the family and committed to their marriages.”

Come to think of it, isn’t that what an organization called “Focus on the Family” should have been doing all along?

> In honor of the rapture that didn’t happen on the 21st, The Rachel Maddow Show brings you a cocktail called “The Last Word“:

Equal parts:

  • gin
  • fresh lime juice
  • maraschino liqueur (Rachel recommends Luxardo brand)
  • green Chartreuse

Shake well with ice for longer than you think you need to, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

> Here, have an origami nazgul.

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Written by whackanarwhal

May 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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