August 02, 2016

Venezuela To Have A Referendum And Russia Has Zombie Reindeer


Pope Francis just set up a special commission to study whether women will be allowed to become deacons. It’s time to break through the (stained) glass ceilings, ladies!


Venezuela To Compete In The Referendum Olympics

The people have spoken. Well, at least 408,000 of them, which is double the amount needed for the National Electoral Council (CNE) to approve the first step in recalling President Nicolas Maduro. Venezuela’s opposition party, the Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition, collected signatures to oust Maduro but for awhile their efforts seemed futile. The government vowed there would be no referendum, conveniently slowing the process of verifying signatures. It even launched around 9,000 lawsuits alleging massive fraud in signature collection. Well, the election board confirmed that 98% of the first 408,000 signatures were validated.

What happens next?

If Maduro loses a referendum in 2016 – and polls indicate he would – it would initiate a new presidential vote, giving the opposition a chance to end 17 years of the Socialist Party’s rule. The opposition is begging the CNE to set a date for the next stage of the recall process, one that is so insanely stressful, it will feel like an olympic sport. To get past that hurdle, they will have to collect four million signatures in just three days. On your mark…get set…

Anthrax-Spewing Zombie Reindeer? Only In Russia

In Mother Russia, deer eat you. Thanks to the Arctic permafrost melting, thawing ice revealed the 75-year-old carcasses of anthrax-laden reindeer. That’s already gross, but then the increased temperatures activated the anthrax in these dead reindeer, which has already infected dozens of people and caused one death. We’re going to let this sink in for a minute because it’s a lot to process: World War II era reindeer die in Siberia while their anthrax remains frozen in hibernation, only to reemerge 75 years later, where their anthrax-spewing carcasses can actually infect people around them. It’s a shame The Nightmare Before Christmas is already taken, because that would be a great title for this apocalyptic holiday flick. Picture it: a present-day anthrax outbreak creates a race against climate change, starring zombie reindeer – still struggling with memories of the war– in the lead role. Coming soon from Marvel. 


#pnut4prez: Are The GOP A Bunch Of Babies?

Gone are the days of presidential candidates kissing babies. The quaffed rebel Donald Trump started a new tradition by kicking out an infant from his Virginia rally. At first Trump responded to the crying tot’s mom by saying, “Don’t worry about it. I love babies! I hear that baby crying, I like it. What a baby! What a beautiful baby.” Minutes later, he changed his mind with ““Actually, I was only kidding, you can get the baby out of here.” That baby wasn’t the only one who might be leaving Trump’s camp. Governor Chris Christie surprised voters by calling Trump’s criticism of the Khans “inappropriate,” joining Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator John McCain in their squeamishness. President Obama slammed such Republicans for condemning Trump’s statements while still planning to vote for him. Obama asked, “If you are repeatedly having to say, in very strong terms, that what [Trump] has said is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him?”

The Latest Weapon In Syria: Chlorine Gas

Things are not only getting worse in Syria; they’re getting more bizarre. Two barrels suspected to contain chlorine gas were dropped on the town of Saraqeb, close to where a Russian helicopter was shot down yesterday. About 30 people, mostly women and children, were affected. Not long after, a second gas attack killed five people in Aleppo. We don’t want to give you nightmares, but the chlorine gas causes victims to feel short of breath and foam blood at the mouth. The government and rebel groups have both been accused but both have denied involvement.

GOOD READ: Good, Bad And Deadly Chlorine In The Syrian Civil War

#BrazilNuts: Olympic Boxing Knocked Out By Corruption

From government corruption to athletes getting robbed at the Olympic Village, the Summer Games have been plagued – and we mean that literally – with scandal and bad news. But with Rio’s opening ceremony taking place this Friday, we hope to keep things positive this week… starting tomorrow. Until then, let’s take a look at the latest scandal to hit Rio: boxing. Senior officials within the sport believe a cabal of officials are manipulating the draw and judging system to ensure certain boxers win. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) insists these are just rumors, though one official claims there is “no doubt” that the system of preemptively selecting winners has become more sophisticated, where scores are being manipulated to reward countries that will pay to host AIBA championships. Fear not, because AIBA, who is implicated in the scandal, promises to investigate.


Libya: A car bomb targeting security forces killed 22 people and injured another 20 in Benghazi. The Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries, an Islamist and Jihadist organization, claimed responsibility.

New York: William Bratton, Commissioner of the New York Police Department, is stepping down after pressure from Black Lives Matter. Bratton is considered one of the most widely recognized faces in American policing, but plans to move to the private sector.

France: Thousands attended the funeral in Normandy’s Rouen Cathedral, mourning the loss of slain priest Fr. Jacques Hamel. More than 1,500 members of the congregation heard tributes from the priest’s family and friends.


Note To Advertisers: Don’t Confuse Lebanon With Israel

Canadians don’t like to be confused with Americans. The Dutch don’t like to be confused with Germans. Israelis and Lebanese really don’t feel comfortable with that confusion. Virgin Megastore issued an apology after an advertisement for their Ticketing Box Office meant to pay tribute to Lebanon’s military. Only problem is that they used images of the Israeli military. Social media had a field day when the ad, which includes the sentimental tagline “Keep your eyes on us, oh hero,” was placed over images of the IDF when it was supposed to celebrate the anniversary of the Lebanese army. Talk about not knowing your audience: Israel and Lebanon have fought two major wars, and, in fact, the two nations are technically still at war. After a lot of mockery, the ad was eventually removed from social media. 

Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: