Fred Phelps, founder of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, is dead.
Fred Phelps’ son Timothy announced the good news to a Kansas television station on Thursday, a week after it was reported he was excommunicated last August and currently on his death bed. Phelps was best known for protesting funerals of American soldiers with signs saying “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God for 9/11.” The church, made up mostly of his family, joined him in his inflammatory anti-gay, anti-everything funeral protests. No word yet on if the family will picket Fred Phelps’ funeral, but given the number of people who want to piss on his grave, they might as well cut out the middle man and make his tombstone a urinal. BBC News
Seems like Russia is trying to get the old Soviet gang back together. Russia has “expressed concern” about Estonia’s treatment of its large ethnic Russian minority, setting off alarm bells in the Baltic state. Comparing the language policy in the Estonia with a supposed push in Ukraine to stop the use of Russian, a Moscow diplomat signaled his concern for Estonia’s Russian minority. No word yet on if Putin wants to annex Estonia too, but given that the seizure of the Crimean peninsula was under the guise of protecting fellow Russians, Estonia might want to start thinking about beefing up their military – or adjusting to Russian life. Meanwhile, President Obama unveiled new sanctions against Russian officials and a bank, declaring, “This is not our preferred outcome. These sanctions would not only have a significant impact on the Russian economy, but could also be disruptive to the global economy. However, Russia must know that further escalation will only isolate it further from the international community.” Don’t tell him about this Estonia thing then… Reuters
Now’s not the time for “I told you so”, Romney. Mitt Romney, the failed presidential candidate and notorious 1 percenter, is calling Obama out for “failed leadership”. In a Wall Street Journal editorial, Romney blasted Obama’s policy towards Russia, North Korea, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan – basically every country – and his “terrible timing” in handling international crises. “President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton traveled the world in pursuit of their promise to reset relations and to build friendships across the globe. Their failure has been painfully evident: It is hard to name even a single country that has more respect and admiration for America today than when President Obama took office, and now Russia is in Ukraine. Part of their failure, I submit, is due to their failure to act when action was possible, and needed,” Romney wrote. What would Romney have done differently? Everything! Because changing outcomes is super easy in hindsight. Wall Street Journal
No more Twitter in Turkey. Twitter users in Turkey report (not through Twitter) that the social media site has been blocked in the country, just hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to “wipe out” the social network. Erdogan held a rally on Thursday to drum up some support ahead of March 30 local elections, telling his supporters: “We will wipe out Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says.” Umm.. that’s probably not the best way to drum up support, but apparently Erdogan is really angry that leaked phone conversations revealing his corruption are being spread via Twitter. So instead of banning phones (or corruption), he went with banning Twitter. Next up: Facebook and YouTube. AFP
Imagine waking up and realizing you are being raped by your MP? A man in his early 20s claims he woke up to find 56-year-old British MP Nigel Evans on top of him as he lay “in shock”. The man apparently followed the MP into his bed after a dinner party and got under the covers with him but repeatedly brushed off his sexual advances. When he awoke, “I felt Nigel on top of me, trying to force himself into me. I was face down.” The former deputy speaker denies the charge, but considering the alleged victim was warned by colleagues he would “get Nigelled” before going to the MP’s home, Evans must “Nigel” people a lot. BBC News