June 23, 2016

Colombia Close To Ending Longest War, “Do Nothing” Politicians Do Something




Today is the day! The fate of Britain is in your hands, voters. And if you still need convincing, our co-founder Tewfik Cassis weighed in on the Brexit vote.


Colombia Hopes To End One Of The World’s Longest Wars

The Colombian government and FARC rebels announced that they reached a deal on a bilateral ceasefire. After three years of peace talks in Havana, the ceasefire is nothing short of historic, with many hoping it will be the last major step toward ending the longest running conflict in the Western Hemisphere. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said a final peace deal could be signed by July 20, which prompted widespread celebration of what the internet is calling #thefinaldayofthewar. Beginning in 1964, this conflict has killed over 220,000 people over the last five decades and has displaced seven million Colombians.  

What’s left to discuss?

The negotiations have resolved all the major points: rural reform, the drug trade, rebels’ inclusion in Colombian politics and reparations. All they need to do now is establish how the peace deal will be implemented. But of course, there is a disagreement. FARC wants a constitutional convention to incorporate the deal into Colombia’s constitution. The government thinks that’s a bit extreme and would rather stall by putting the deal to a popular vote. With the country just inches away from ending the war, let’s not get caught up in logistics. 

Russia Helps Europe Take Its Mind Off Brexit

With the vote on the EU referendum taking place today, you’d think the only country on Europe’s mind would be the UK. Luckily, Russia was there to make it all about them instead. Despite personal visits from Russian President Vladimir Putin himself, ambassadors from 28 EU member states unanimously agreed to extend sanctions against Russia by six months to increase pressure on Moscow over the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The purpose is to make sure Russia is behaving since the peace agreement signed in Minsk last February. The extension comes after several European leaders, who previously showed a united front against Russia, questioned the need to extend sanctions. Each leader was treated to a jolly visit from Putin, which clearly did not go over well. 

Pnut Read: What You Need To Know About The UK’s EU Referendum


‘Do-Nothing’ Politicians Did Something By Sitting Around

There was recently a “space out competition” in South Korea where people compete to see who can do nothing the longest. We’re a bit surprised no American politicians threw their hat in the ring. Still, Democrats brought that “can-don’t” attitude to work with them on Wednesday, fighting political inaction in a similar style: by sitting around. In protest of the US House of Representatives’ lack of action on gun-control, Democrats sat on the floor of the House and did nothing, forcing the House into a temporary recess, where doing nothing presumably continued. But the sit-in could do something. The goal is to force lawmakers to go on record on a bipartisan bill that would grant the FBI and the attorney general the authority to ban people on the no-fly list from buying firearms. But as the minority party, Democrats can’t do much on their own but sit there. This unprecedented protest forced Paul Ryan to adjourn the House until July 5.

Pnut Read: Where Is Gun Legislation In The US?

Israeli Politician Finds Building Fake Island Easier Than Diplomacy

Israeli Transport and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz is seeking to win cabinet backing for an ambitious $5 billion plan to ease Gaza’s economic blockade with a highly secure artificial island. “I do not think it is right to lock up two million people without any connection to the world,” Katz said. But for security concerns he doesn’t believe opening up direct access to Gaza is feasible. Thus, he wants to build a multi-billion dollar landing strip to act as a buffer for Israel to monitor goods coming in and out of the territory. His proposal made a big splash but Katz received radio silence while asking for support. Though Katz is a prominent member of the Likud Party, neither Prime Minister Netanyahu nor his colleagues have given it their blessing. Likewise, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas thinks Gaza II: The Island would further alienate Gaza from the West Bank. For now, Katz is the only man on his island.

Symbol Of Rio Olympics Killed, Much Like Our Hopes

Because the near daily arrests taking place within Brazil’s government and the looming spread of Zika virus weren’t bad enough signs for the Rio Olympics, the killing of Juma the jaguar after it participated in the Olympic torch relay is a pretty loud metaphor for Rio’s problems. Shortly after Juma took part in the torch relay as a symbol of Brazil’s prowess and agility, the wild cat escaped her handlers. After tranquilizers failed to work on the frightened animal, a soldier shot Juma with a pistol. Organizers for the Rio Olympics now say it was a mistake to expose a chained wild animal to large crowds and fire. If the organizers weren’t expecting large crowds and fire at an Olympic torch relay  – which implies large crowds and fire in its very name – it doesn’t bode well for what else they have planned. 

Pnut Read: Where Did Zika Come From?


India: As monsoon rains swept across the country, lightening strikes killed over 93 people and injured several more. Lightning is the leading killer among all natural disasters in India. In 2014 alone over 2,500 people died when struck by lightening.
IMF: In its annual assessment of the world economy, the
International Monetary Fund warned the US of its high poverty rates. Currently, about one in seven Americans are living in poverty. It recommended raising the minimum wage and offering paid maternity leave to women to encourage them to work.
Pakistan: The country mourns the loss of
Amjad Sabri, the famous Qawwali singer who was shot dead by the Taliban. Qawwali is a Sufi musical genre that dates back to the 13th century but is often targeted by the Taliban because they view music as un-Islamic.


Sweden Soccer Player Sacked For Farting 

Swedish defender Adam Ljungkvist was playing in a match between Jarna’s reserve team and Pershagen SK when he was shown a second yellow card for farting. Initially, the player wasn’t sure why he was being given his marching orders. Ljungkvist told local media his theory that “maybe [the referee] thought I farted in my hand and threw the fart at him. But I did not.” As hilarious as that would have been, the referee simply saw the act of his audible fart as “deliberate provocation” and “inappropriate.” He didn’t even think it was the strangest thing, however, casually comparing it to a time when a player peed next to the field and duly received a yellow card. Seriously, are there no bathrooms in the locker rooms?

Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: