Tag Archives: European Union

The Swiss Don’t Care For Immigrants? Colour Me Surprised. And Other News…

Swiss Immigration Campaign

There are some things the Swiss like (chocolate, cheese, and watches) and other things they do not like (immigrants, immigrants, and immigrants).

On Sunday Swiss voters narrowly approved (with a 50.3 percent majority) new limits on immigration. Looks like all those nationalist groups’ campaigns instilling fears of the rising numbers of Muslims in the nation finally paid off. The “mass migration” referendum results mean the country will impose a cap on its number of foreign immigrants, including those from European Union countries which are getting sketchier by the minute – I mean, Albania is a potential candidate, c’mon! The European Commission was not pleased with the outcome of the vote, which invalidates the Swiss-EU agreement on freedom of movement, and announced it needed to take a closer look at the impact on overall relations between Switzerland and the EU. The Guardian

Copenhagen GiraffeThe Copenhagen Zoo really wanted to kill that giraffe. Despite receiving an offer of 500,000 euros, a petition with over 20,000 signatures, and offers from other zoos, the Copenhagen Zoo decided to slaughter a healthy giraffe to prevent inbreeding problems. The two-year-old male giraffe, named Marius, was killed upon the recommendation of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, who reasoned that there were already giraffes in the breeding program with similar genes. The decision sparked outrage from everyone who has a heart, but the Zoo didn’t care – the giraffe had to go. With all the outcry, you would think he would at least be put down humanely. Nope. Marius was killed with a bolt pistol and Zoo officials dissected him in front of visitors (including young children) and then fed his carcass to lions and other zoo carnivores. Global News

Dumb StarbucksI’ll take a double Dumb Frappuccino with extra whip! A Starbucks parody store, Dumb Starbucks, opened Friday in L.A. to massive lines and curious customers. Dumb Starbucks features dumb iced coffee, dumb white chocolate mocha, dumb lattes – basically everything Starbucks offers with the word dumb in front of it. The dumb store looks nearly identical to a typical Starbucks location and serves its coffees in cups that mock the company’s logo. Dumb iced coffees and lattes were handed out free of charge to promote the new business/some kind of weird art project, but customers weren’t impressed with the taste. Descriptions of the coffee ranged from “horrible” to “bitter”. While serving bad overpriced coffee out of a novelty store may seem like a good idea, Dumb Starbucks might be really dumb after all. The real Seattle coffee giant is not too pleased with their opening. “We are evaluating next steps and while we appreciate the humour, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark,” spokeswoman Laurel Harper said in an email. Dumb Starbucks insists their store is legal because it is considered parody art, but I’m pretty sure their legal theories are no match for Real Starbucks’ team of lawyers. CTV News

KissProtip: don’t makeout with your hostage. A jewelry store robber was tracked down in Paris through his DNA after he kissed a hostage out of compassion. The thief and his co-conspirator grabbed an employee of the store, tied her up in her home and forced her to reveal the codes of the alarm system and the safes in the jewelry store. Once they got the info, one man went to rob the store and the other stayed with the woman and at one point kissed her to “relieve her trauma”. Turns out that was a BIG mistake. Once she was freed, the store employee alerted the police and a DNA sample was taken from her cheek. Wait… so it wasn’t a French kiss? I guess not, but all you need is a peck on the cheek to put you away in prison. BBC News

King Hamad BahrainThe King of Bahrain is more sensitive than you think. King Hamad has ratified a new law that imposes a prison sentence of up to seven years and fine of up to $26,500 for anyone who publicly insults him, the flag, or the national emblem. Looks like King Hamad is looking to shut those pro-democracy protesters up once and for all. The new measure comes just a week before the three-year anniversary of pro-democracy demonstrations that sparked a government crackdown. For almost three years, Shia Muslims have led rallies calling for greater freedom and democracy in the Sunni-ruled country. Activists have also planned three days of “civil disobedience” to celebrate the three-year anniversary, but now they may have to re-think their protest signs. CNN

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Ukrainian Protests

Ukrainian Protests

The Ukrainian protests continue into their fourth week with roughly 200,000 people rallying in the Ukrainian capital Kiev to protest against President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign a landmark EU deal.

Yanukovich’s decision to abandon the EU deal last month in favor of closer ties with Russia sparked weeks of mass protests in Kiev. Ukraine SituationAfter months of negotiations, Ukraine was set to sign the the association agreement with the EU, but one stern look from Putin and Yanukovich backed off – which can be nicely summed up in this gif ———->

Many Ukrainians, along with the opposition parties, are outraged at the government’s decision to strengthen ties with Russia over the European Union – hence the growing protests. Last week a large group of demonstrators at Independence Square were stormed by police, prompting Secretary of State John Kerry to step in and condemn the Ukraine for the violent crackdown. Saying the U.S. “expresses its disgust with the decision of Ukrainian authorities to meet the peaceful protest in Kyiv’s Maidan Square with riot police, bulldozers, and batons,” Kerry assured the Ukrainian people that the United States was with them.

The riot police then retreated and Interior Minister Vitali Zakharchenko insisted in a statement Wednesday that no force will be used… for now.

U.S. Senator John McCain also decided to jump on the Ukranian bandwagon on Sunday, joining the housands of protesters in Kiev, telling them “People of Ukraine, this is your moment. This is about you, no one else. This is about the future you want for your country.”

Despite McCain’s passion, the European Union put a hold on trade agreement discussions with the Ukraine until there is a “clear commitment” to sign. So the ball is now in President Viktor Yanukovych’s court: Sign the deal, resign in shame, or cave to the heavy pressure from Putin and join a Russian-led customs union instead.

Via: BBC News

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Gay Refugees Can Now Flock to Europe… And Other News

Gay Refugees

The European Union’s high court has ruled that refugees under attack for being homosexual in their home countries have grounds to be granted asylum. And suddenly every African mysteriously turned gay…

The EU court concluded that concealing sexual orientation to avoid persecution is equal to giving up a “characteristic fundamental to a person’s identity.” The court’s ruling concerned three homosexual men from Sierra Leone, Uganda and Senegal who had all sought asylum in Holland. But the court’s ruling applies to all EU countries and now any gay person can apply for asylum as long as they prove a “well-founded fear” of persecution. Since homosexual acts are illegal in most African countries, anti-immigration Europeans are worried about the rising tide of pseudo-gay Africans refugees infiltrating their country. Meh. Canada has been accepting gay refugees for years and the last time I checked (5 minutes ago), the number of homosexual / fauxmosexual Africans refugees walking around the streets of Canada is still relatively low. Although to be fair, Canada isn’t exactly next door to Africa. Europe’s a little easier to access – just a quick migrant boat away! New York Times

Lulu Pants FatLululemon founder Chip Wilson is blaming women’s body shapes for the quality issues his company’s yoga pants are facing. Last spring Lulu was forced to recall a bunch of pants for being see-through and last week customers began complaining about pilling. “Frankly some women’s bodies just don’t actually work for it,” Chip told Bloomberg TV, arguing, “It’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time.” What a great way to win over your target market of women aged 18-34: “Our material isn’t poor quality – you just have thunder thighs!” CTV News

Greenhouse GasesWarning: We’re all going to die. According to a new report released by the the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), greenhouse gas levels hit a record high in 2012. Gases that drive global warming are increasing more rapidly last year than in its average rise over the past decade, effectively increasing warming effects by almost a third since 1990. And despite what anti-global warming Republicans have to say about the slowdown in temperature increases in the past few years, scientists believe that the new data indicates that global warming will be back with a vengeance. CBC News

Closed for BusinessBack pay to furloughed federal employees: $2 billion. National park revenue lost: $500 million. Delayed tax refunds: $4 billion. Shutting down the federal government for 16 days because Ted Cruz didn’t like a health care law: priceless. A report released by the Office of Management and Budget reveals that the government shutdown cost the U.S. economy between $2 billion and $6 billion in economic output. In addition, 120,000 fewer private sector jobs were created during the first two weeks of October because of the pending threat of the shutdown and the standoff over the debt ceiling. I thought Republicans were supposed to be anti-job killers…? Huffington Post

Pope and Disfigured ManEwwww. Gross. Pope Francis was caught snuggling with a severly disfigured man IN PUBLIC. There’s a word acronym for that: PDA. At the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square Wednesday, the pope Francis gently held and kissed the head of man covered in facial tumors. The 50,000 attendees seemed to embrace the embrace as well as Pope Francis’ ongoing efforts to open interaction with people from all walks of life, especially the poor, weak and vulnerable. Pope Francis seems to be doing a decent job of changing the church’s image by focusing on the less fortunate in society. Now if only he could work of the whole Catholic priest/pedophile image thing – because that’s kind of a big one. CNN

Twitter IPOTwitter officially went public on Thursday morning with shares opening at $45.10 – significantly higher than the expected $26. And just like that another billionaire is born! The trading drove the seven-year-old company’s value to $25 billion – despite not having made any profit for the last three years. But many believe that Twitter, which has 230 million users globally, has huge potential as a global advertising medium. Just please don’t litter my newsfeed with advertisements a la Facebook #seriouslydon’tdoit Reuters

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