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When Taking a Gun Selfie, Remember: Don’t Pull the Trigger

Gun Selfie

A 21-year-old Mexican man who posed for a gun selfie died shortly after shooting himself in the head by accident.

Oscar Aguilar was no stranger to the selfie. His Facebook page showed him posing in front of sports cars, sitting on motorbikes and hugging semi-attractive women. But things went horribly wrong when he decided to give his Facebook friends a little taste of the infamous gun selfie after he had been drinking with pals in Mexico City last weekend. Unfortunately, instead of becoming a big shot on social media, Oscar just ended up shot.

“I heard a gunshot, and then I heard somebody screaming and realized somebody had been hurt. I called the police straight away and when they arrived they found that he was still alive,” neighbor Manfredo Paez Paez said.

Police say he failed to realize the gun was loaded when he began snapping pictures of himself waving it about.

The 21-year-old died on the way to hospital in Mexico City. Sad, but on the bright side, Oscar is currently in the running for the coveted 2014 Darwin Award. It’s a tight race between him and that Florida kid who almost died lighting himself ablaze for the popular social media fire challenge.

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Depressed Polar Bear Wants to Move to Canada

Arturo the Polar Bear

Arturo the polar bear, also known as “the world’s saddest animal”, wants to escape his cramped, concrete enclosure at Argentina’s Mendoza Zoo and move to Canada where the winters are freezing and the maple syrup is plentiful.

After pictures of Arturo the polar bear looking ‘depressed’ in a cramped enclosure were shared online, thousands of worried polar bear lovers have signed an online petition calling for Arturo to be transferred to Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada. Animal rights advocates say Arturo paces nervously in his concrete enclosure and suggest the animal suffers from depression. They say Canada would provide the bear with a “better life” where he can enjoy a cooler climate at the specialist polar bear rehabilitation centre.

But the director of the Mendoza Zoo in western Argentina isn’t feeling the relocation of their only captive polar bear. Claiming that the 28-year-old bear is too old to safely be relocated, the zoo announced that Arturo will stay at Argentina’s Mendoza Zoo, where temperatures can climb to 104F (40C). But don’t worry – Arturo can cool off in his 20-inch-deep pool.

In fact, the sight of Arturo rocking back and forth in the heat is so sad that even former Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has taken up his cause.

“If you love animals the way I do, you’re going to want to sign the petition to save the Argentinean polar bear, Arturo,” Gingrich said. “His current living situation is very sad, and he deserves to be saved.”

Yikes. You know the zoo director is bad news when Newt Gingrich is begging him to show mercy.

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Chilean Earthquake & Prison Break

Current Event Cat - CHilean EarthQuake

An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.2 struck the coast of Chile Tuesday – and what better excuse to break out of prison!

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the giant earthquake was centered 62 miles north of Iquique at a depth of 6.2 miles.  The quake, along with the dozens of aftershocks – including a 6.2 tremor – generated a tsunami with six-foot waves, prompting tsunami warnings for not only Chile, but also Peru and Ecuador.

Although only six people have reportedly died so far (not bad for 8.2-magnitude earthquake!), tens of thousands have been evacuated, power lines have been cut, fires have broken out, and landslides have been triggered.

And while the earthquake is bad news for most, it’s good news for the roughly 300 prisoners who escaped from the port city of Iquique. Following the powerful shift in the earth’s crust, the prisoners from a women’s jail saw the perfect opportunity to get out of jail free. As the prison was being evacuated following the tsunami warnings, the inmates instigated a massive jailbreak and set fire to the prison site.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet wasn’t so keen on the prisoners’ plan. Bachelet declared a state of emergency in the region and sent a military plane with 100 anti-riot police to join 300 soldiers deployed to prevent looting and round up escaped prisoners. So far, 39 of the escapees have been recaptured since the quake but authorities are still frantically searching for the other missing prisoners and silently praying that the whole incident was just an elaborate April Fool’s Day prank.

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Adidas Stops Selling Sexual World Cup T-Shirts

T-shirts withdrawn by Adidas for the Brazil World Cup.

Adidas has agreed to stop selling two raunchy t-shirts in the run up to the 2014 World Cup.

But this time it wasn’t a Mormon mother who was horrified at the indecent t-shirts, it was Brazil’s ministry of women’s affairs that launched a series of complaints that the shirts sexualized the country’s image and associated Brazil with sexual tourism.

One of the now discontinued t-shirts read “Looking to score?” next to a bikini-clad woman with open arms. The other had an “I love Brazil” heart resembling a upside down thong-clad butt.

The ministry of women’s affairs said the t-shirts were not only offensive to Brazilian women but also exposed them to the “barbarism” of sexual predators.

“This is all the more shocking in a country that just elected a woman as its highest authority, which brought greater respect for women and zero tolerance for any form of violence against them,” a ministry statement said.

Dilma Rousseff – Brazil’s first female president – also reacted to the sexual stereotype scandal.

“Brazil is happy to receive tourists for the World Cup, but it is also ready to combat sex tourism,” she said on Twitter.

Even Brazil’s tourism board was outraged over the Adidas apparel, urging the sportswear giant to pull the shirts from its shelves. The country’s tourism board, Embratur, says it is vehemently against any products that link Brazil’s image to sex appeal and the tourism ministry declared that “such an attitude indirectly contributes to committing crimes such as sexual child and adolescent exploitation”.

Following the controversy, Adidas, one of the main sponsors of the World Cup, decided it was better to just stop selling the t-shirts.

“Adidas always pays close attention to the opinion of its consumers and partners,” the company statement read.

It was either that or Dilma Rousseff would have to go around buying out every store’s inventory Mormon Mom Style.

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Violent Protests in Venezuela: America to Blame?

Venezuela Protests Lopez

The protests in Venezuela must be America’s fault. There’s no way they could be the result of material shortages and mounting repression, right?

Following weeks of violent demonstrations, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused Washington of plotting with anti-government protesters and expelled three US diplomats in retaliation for the betrayal.

For nearly two weeks, Venezuela has been struggling with a series of anti-government protests spearheaded by angry students. Demonstrators are upset over the country’s strict Chavez era controls on currency and prices that have led to mass inflation and empty store shelves.

But Nicolas Maduro knows that the real problem isn’t Venezuela’s faltering economy, it’s American meddling. As a result, he expelled three American diplomats on charges of conspiring with demonstrators. Apparently these diplomats were recruiting college students for the demonstrations.

“I have ordered the foreign ministry to proceed with declaring those three consular officials persona non grata and expelling them from the country. Let them go conspire in Washington!Maduro said in a nationally broadcast address.

Maduro believes that America is also behind fugitive opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. The opposition politician has been an active figure in challenging Venezuela’s socialist rulers – so much so that he was arrested on Tuesday on charges of inciting violence. Lopez, who had a warrant out for his arrest, handed himself over to police during an anti-Maduro rally he organized.

President Maduro has called Lopez a “murderer” and alleged he is being paid by the US Central Intelligence Agency to topple his government. But Maduro has no reason to be paranoid. I mean, a social “utopia” crumbling? That’s never happened before!

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Mexico Legalizes Vigilante Groups and Captures Cartel Leader

Mexico militias take on drug cartels

The only way to combat gang violence is with more gang violence! The Mexican government has decided to incorporate armed, civilian “self defense” groups into the country’s old and largely forgotten quasi-military units called the Rural Defense Corps.

This new vigilante endorsement will give the armed civilians the authority to pursue (whoever they deem) criminals. Drug cartels beware: vigilante groups estimate their numbers at 20,000 armed men.

Vigilante groups have been popping up over the last year in the Michoacan region in response to the Knights Templar drug cartel. The vigilantes accused the government of not doing enough to protect locals from extortion and violence so they took things into their own hands. After they began doing a better job than the actual police force at combatting the drug cartel, President Enrique Pena Nieto felt compelled to makes these vigilante groups legit by giving them government approval.

The official announcement came right after the “self defense” security forces captured one of the four top leaders of the Knights Templar drug cartel. Dionicio Loya Plancarte, known as El Tio (The Uncle), was one of the country’s most wanted drug lords and had a $2.25m bounty on his head.

Under the new agreement between the vigiliante leaders and the government, the groups will be deployed temporarily and as needed.

“These units will be temporary and will be under the control of the authorities,” the federal government said in a statement, “to cooperate with the troops in the activities that these carry out and when required by the military command”.

Vigilante leaders will have to submit a list of their members to the Defense Department and will be allowed to keep their weapons as long as they register them with the army. And then some corrupt government official will leak their names to the drug cartels and it’s goodbye vigilantes…. Viva Mexico!

Via: CBS News

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Christmas Day Piranha Attack in Argentina!

Piranha Attack

A lot happened over the Christmas break: South Sudan neared the brink of collapse, bombs went off in Beirut, Kim Jong-un continued to be a brat with nukes. But let’s get straight to the important news: piranha attack!

My childhood nightmare came to life on Christmas Day in Rosario, Argentina when a vicious pack of piranhas attacked holiday beach goers at popular beach on the Parana River. The piranha feeding frenzy left 60 people injured, including seven children. One young girl had to have part of her finder amputated after the being severely bitten.Argentina Fish Attack

A medical official on the scene, Gustavo Centurion, said the ferocious fish attack, which began at mid-morning on Christmas Day, was “very aggressive.”

“There were some people that the fish literally had torn bits of flesh from,” he said.

The Argentine region has been hit by a pretty brutal heat wave with temperatures soaring to 38 degrees Celsius. The piranha attack is thought to have been provoked by these abnormally high temperatures. So basically the warm weather prompted the fish to congregate on the river’s surface while at the same time prompted thousands of Argentinians to cool off in the waters of the Parana River, making the perfect recipe for a Christmas Day piranha attack.

Via: AFP

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Brazil Style Spying

Current Event Cat - Brazil Spying on US

After repeatedly ridiculing the United States for its excessive espionage and cancelling a state visit to Washington, Brazil was forced to make an awkward confession: they also spied on countries – including the U.S.

Brazil admitted that it had spied on diplomats from the U.S., Russia, Iran and Iraq. However, they insist the spying, which involved following diplomats and monitoring activities at the U.S. embassy, happened a decade ago.

Also, Brazil’s justice minister, Jose Eduardo Cardoso, says his country’s surveillance activities were “completely different” from those carried out by the evil United States.

“I see completely different situations. What happened in relation to Brazil and other countries was a violation. Emails and phone calls were violated, which is an affront to Brazilian sovereignty,” Cardoso told reporters.

And what about Brazil’s spying activities? Well, they were simply “counter-intelligence” operations intended to uncover whether other countries were spying on them. Spoiler alert: they were. But apparently they needed an Edward Snowden type leak to figure out what their “counter-intelligence” operations couldn’t.

If Brazil really wanted to stay under America’s radar, they should borrow a trick or two from China: smog. The smog in China has become so smoggy that it’s rendering government surveillance cameras ineffective. As the air pollution in China gets more and more hazardous, the Chinese will be shielded from government observation by thick blankets of smog. But if you think this is the incentive China needs to reduce air pollution – think again! China’s solution: build better surveillance cameras – or just rip off a design from another country.

Via: BBC News & Current Event Cats

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Brazil’s Violent Teacher Protest

Current Event Cat - Brazil Overhaul Violent

Demonstrations calling for the complete overhaul of the education system turned violent in Rio de Janeiro after a small group of protesters threw fireworks, grenades, and tear gas. What doesn’t turn violent in Rio de Janeiro?

The protest, which began peacefully, attracted 10,000 – 50,000 demonstrators (the police and teachers’ union have slightly different versions of the event). But the scene turned violent after the marchers reached city hall and the sun went down. A few protesters threw firebombs at public buildings and riot police naturally responded by firing tear gas into the crowd. A handful of “black bloc” anarchists smashed a City Hall gate while others broke into banks and tried to steal cash from the ATMs. Some even set banks on fire. If we can’t have money, no one can?

The thousands of striking teachers and their supporters who were in the streets on Monday night were demanding better pay plus a complete overhaul of the education system. Ambitious! The demonstrators have already rejected the government’s proposals of a 15 percent pay rise. But they probably figured if Brazil was spending gazillions on the Olympics and the World Cup they could spare a bit more than 15 percent for the pubic education system.

Via: Al Jazeera & Current Event Cats

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Dilma Rousseff

Current Event Cat - Dilma Rousseff

If there’s one person who hates the NSA more than Edward Snowden, it’s Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Dilma Rousseff used her position as the opening speaker at the United Nations General Assembly as an opportunity to yell at the U.S for violating human rights and international law through espionage – including spying on her email. Those must be some pretty racy emails if she’s U.N angry (i.e super angry) … perhaps some love notes to her hero Fidel Castro?

Dilma Rousseff wasn’t just putting on an angry show for the U.N. – last month she canceled a planned visit to Washington at the last minute after the NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the United States had monitored her phone calls, as well as Brazilian embassy calls and spied on the state oil corporation, Petrobras.

But since robbing Washington of her presence wasn’t enough to get the message across, the Brazilian president took to the UN stage to protest America’s love of spying. Rousseff told the assembled leaders that Brazil had been a target of intrusions and intercepts and there was no excuse for this kind of behaviour – not even to protect nations from terrorism!

“The arguments that the illegal interception of information and data aims at protecting nations against terrorism cannot be sustained. Brazil, Mr President, knows how to protect itself. We reject, fight and do not harbour terrorist groups,” Dilma Rousseff said to the crowd.

“In the absence of the right to privacy, there can be no true freedom of expression and opinion, and therefore no effective democracy. In the absence of the respect for sovereignty, there is no basis for the relationship among nations.”

She’s totally hiding something…

Via: The Guardian & Current Event Cats