October 27, 2015

US Government will not Shutdown, an Earthquake in Afghanistan and Foods that Cause Cancer


Did you receive the Pnut today? Well that’s no thanks to Russian submarine commanders who have been aggressively operating around the main undersea Internet cables. The idea of not being able to watch Adele or other weird online videos at any time is deeply terrifying.   


US Government Might Not Shutdown For Next 18 Months

As much as we will all miss the routine US government shutdown debates, it looks like John Boehner will be giving us all a break by leaving his successor a “parting gift” in the form of a new budget and raising the debt ceiling until March 2017. Conservatives in Congress, as expected, began complaining almost immediately. Some were concerned at the speed the process was moving and wondering “what does Boehner have to do with it?” (He is resigning at the end of the month).

The deal will boost defense spending at a time when the US is facing multiple challenges to its military dominance in Europe, the Middle East and the South China Sea. If it passes it will make the life of Rep. Ryan, who is slated to be the next speaker of the House, much easier.    


Earthquake Rattles Afghanistan And Neighboring Countries

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Northeastern Afghanistan yesterday claiming at least 260 lives at time of writing. The earthquake was felt as far aways as New Delhi, India. 12 Afghan school girls were killed in a stampede as they tried to flee their school building. The death toll, while still rising, is expected to settle significantly lower than the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir that killed 70,000 people.




US “Sail-by” By Irritates China

A US navy destroyer sailed into disputed waters in the South China Sea, challenging China’s claims in the area. The ship sailed within a 12-mile strip off a man-made island that China built to cement its claims in the region (which clash with claims of six other nations). The program is part of a “Freedom of Navigation” program which challenges “excessive claims” in the oceans. China is not amused.


Some Meats, Like Everything Else, Cause Cancer

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that eating processed meats (sausages and bacon) every day may increase the chance of colorectal cancer by 18%. They also announced that they could not link red meat to heightened risk of cancer. This means that bacon is now one of 478 other things that may cause cancer…   

Dominican Republic Doesn’t Like Junot Díaz Anymore

Junot Díaz, famed Dominican-American author of “The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” was stripped of the Dominican “Order of Merit” and labelled “anti-Dominican” by the Dominican government. Díaz has been at outspoken critic of the Dominican government’s policies towards Haitians (who share the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic) calling some of the government’s policy “apartheid.” 


#pnut4prez: Lack of GOP Candidates Frustrates Billionaire Kochs

The Koch Brothers, a pair of leading US businessmen, preside over a group of conservative donors with roughly $750M to donate to their favored Republican candidate…except they can’t find one they actually like (paywall link). Charles Koch has voiced his frustration at the lack of discussion of “real†issues like tax breaks for businesses and criminal justice reform. It’s always tough when you’ve got $750M in the bank but don’t know what to spend it on.

Keeping Our Eye On…

  • China’s Plenum: The Chinese Communist Party’s Central Planning Committee began a four-day meeting yesterday to approve the country’s next “five-year planâ€. This involves discussions on the economy and allows President Xi to carry out a little purge of political rivals.    
  • Police: In a depressingly familiar scene, a video has emerged of an African-American student being assaulted by a campus police officer while sitting at her desk at a school in South Carolina.   
  • Drug habits: A Saudi Prince was detained in Beirut after police found two tonnes (!) of amphetamines and cocaine on his private jet… That’s enough to get everyone in Saudi Arabia high for a year or two.   



Lenin, I Am Your Father

In April, Ukraine ordered the removal of all communist symbols including the many statues of Lenin which were prevalent in the country. A local artist, Alexander Milov, decided to convert one such statue into a life-sized monument of Darth Vader (the evil Star Wars guy with a breathing problem). He also made the head a Wi-Fi hotspot. Ukraine seems to have a bit of a weird obsession with Darth Vader after a group of 16 men registered for parliament under the name Darth Vader in 2014. Oh, and Chewbacca got arrested today. 

 Monday was the world premiere of the new Bond film. We have a Brit on the team who sometimes pretends he is James Bond… he really isn’t.
Today’s Pnut is sponsored by PetPlate! 

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