Tag Archives: Putin

Putin: Sochi is Gay Okay, Just Leave the Children Alone… And Other News

SOchi gay children

Gay athletes and visitors will be safe in Sochi – as long as they leave the children alone.

During a question-and-answer session on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reassured everyone that gays need not fear persecution at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. But Putin also stood behind his country’s ban on promoting homosexuality to children. “We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors,” Putin said, “We don’t ban anything and we won’t arrest anyone. Therefore you can feel calm, relaxed. But leave children alone please.” That doesn’t seem very reassuring… but if you want further proof that gay Olympic-enthusiasts will be safe, just check out Sochi’s rainbow-coloured uniforms. If they don’t say gay-friendly, I don’t know what does. Just don’t hand them out to children. Washington Post

California FireAustralia isn’t the only place that’s experiencing heat-related problems. On Thursday, a fast-moving brush fire erupted in California and burned through 1,700 acres in a matter of hours. Three potential hooligans were arrested in connection with the blaze, which is burning north of Los Angeles. The trio is facing charges of recklessly starting a fire and although they were “apologetic,” they are being held on $20,000 bail. And then to make matters worse, on Friday California Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency for the entire state. Fast-moving fire + no water = recipe for disaster. As a result, the governor has called for a voluntary “20 percent conservation” of water use – at least until the rain comes. New York Times

Vatican_2792788bThe U.N is on to you Pope Francis… The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child got all up in the Vatican’s face about over the sexual abuse of children by clergy. Although the Vatican insisted on Thursday that it is committed to stamping out it’s pedo-reputation, the UN panel publicly confronted the church over the numerous allegations. Vatican officials faced a barrage of tough questions as they appeared before the panel including “Does the Holy See believe that paedophilia is something that can be successfully overcome?” Vatican Answer: “To prevent abuse of minors is a real, immediate concern.” So… is that a yes? BBC News

CENTRAL-AFRICA-REPUBLIC-CRISISFrance may have underestimated the level of hatred between Christian and Muslim communities in the conflict-ridden Central African Republic. In fact, there may be impending genocide… France’s ambassador to the UN warned the organization that African Union and French forces were confronting a “nearly impossible” situation between “two communities who want to kill each other”. The former French colony spiralled into total chaos after a mostly Muslim rebel coalition, Seleka, seized power in March and installed their leader Michel Djotodia as interim president. Djotodia resigned last week under intense international pressure but the violence is still going strong. I’m not sure what tipped the French off about their hatred underestimation, but it may have been when a member of a Christian mob attacked and burned a Muslim man and then proceeded to chew on his charred flesh. BBC News

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How To Save A Rhino By Shooting One… And Other News

Black Rhino

Kill a rhino, save a rhino! The Dallas Safari Club is auctioning off a permit to kill an endangered black rhino in Namibia.

Namibia has an annual quota to kill up to five black rhinos out of the country’s herd population of 1,795 rhinos. The rhinos who are singled out to be killed are aging, non-breeding beasts, which tend to kill off younger rhinos – so killing the mean older black rhinos is all part of Namibia’s population management technique. And now one lucky millionaire hunter can join in the fun! The Dallas Safari Club hopes to auction off the rhino kill for a million dollars – the proceeds of which will go towards The Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia’s Black Rhino. “First and foremost, this is about saving the black rhino,” Ben Carter, the executive director of the Dallas Safari Club said. But second and secondmost, it’s about killing the black rhino. Al Jazeera

Obama ScanThis week on Who is the NSA Spying on Now, Spain! The newest revelation to come from the Edward Snowden leaked documents is that the NSA collected data on 60 million phone calls in Spain over the course of December 2012. The news comes after confirmation that numerous world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have had their personal phones tapped. Obama apologized to Merkel but claims he did not know what the NSA was up to. The NSA has so many eavesdropping operations they can’t keep track of them – let alone brief the president on them! But now that Obama (and the rest of the world) knows, it’s time to put a stop to it. According to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein, the White House has decided to halt the spying programs targeting allied governments. “Unless the United States is engaged in hostilities against a country or there is an emergency need for this type of surveillance, I do not believe the United States should be collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers,” she said. Unfriendly leaders, however, are fair game. Reuters

one-world-trade-centerAnonymous street artist Banksy isn’t making many friends in New York City. After spraying graffiti all over town, Banksy has now insulted One World Trade Center in a rejected New York Times op-ed. Calling the building “biggest eyesore in New York,” Banksy views One World Trade Center as “a betrayal of everyone who lost their lives on September 11th, because it so clearly proclaims the terrorists won. Those 10 men have condemned us to live in a world more mediocre than the one they attacked, rather than be the catalyst for a more dazzling new one.” Ouch. He the went on to say, “It’s vanilla. It’s like something they would build in Canada.” Looks like he’s not making friends in Canada either. The Guardian

NYC MayorThe New York City mayoral debate is being delayed so residents can properly reflect on Hurricane Sandy. For some reason no one noticed this earlier, but the final debate was scheduled for October 29, the one year anniversary of the storm. Both candidates asked for the debate to be moved to Wednesday so they could properly mourn/pull a few publicity stunts in a desperate attempt to win some last minute votes. Democrat Bill de Blasio and the Republican anti-kitten candidate Joe Lhota issued a joint statement saying “this day should be marked with solemn reflection and remembrance.” The New York Times

Putin GayPutin has promised to make gay and lesbian athletes “feel comfortable” at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Russia has been criticized recently over a new law banning “homosexual propaganda” targeted towards youth, but now Putin wants to make clear that gay athletes are A-Okay. “We will do everything to make sure that athletes, fans and guests feel comfortable at the Olympic Games regardless of their ethnicity, race or sexual orientation,” Putin told the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. Although Putin feels most comfortable wrestling bears in the wilderness, so maybe he isn’t the best judge of comfort… CNN

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NSA Head to Step Down… And Other News

NSA

The NSA is getting re-branded!

Army General Keith Alexander will step down after eight years on top of the NSA. The White House downplayed suggestions that Alexander’s decision to retire was because of the damage done to the NSA’s reputation after the Edward Snowden leak fiasco. But there’s nothing like a fresh face to win over the American public! As for Keith Alexander, you can add in a happy retirement note to your next email – he’ll find it. Fox News

Wrecking ballBreaking news: Ted Cruz is a sore loser. As Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to announce the bipartisan compromise to end the shutdown, Cruz marched up to the TV cameras outside the Senate chamber and started complaining about the deal McConnell had just negotiated. After causing a mass amount of wreckage to his party, the economy, and his own political career, Ted Cruz still won’t let it go: “The American people rose up and spoke with an overwhelming voice and at least at this stage Washington isn’t listening to them,” Cruz said. “But this battle will continue.” Washington Post

stenographerAnother victim of the government shutdown: the House stenographer loses it! Amid all the chaos of the last-minute Senate deal to end the government shutdown and extend the debt ceiling, the House stenographer had what appeared to be a public mental breakdown. Dianne Foster Reidy calmly went up to a microphone and began screaming: “Do not be deceived. God shall not be mocked. A House divided cannot stand!” She was quickly escorted out by the Sergeant-at-Arms, leaving House members and aides speechless for the first time in two weeks. “I don’t know, she just snapped,” said a GOP aide. CNN

Exhume PresBrazil is bringing up the past – literally. The Latin American country is exhuming two former presidents, João Goulart and Juscelino Kubitschek, to settle the claim that they were assassinated in 1976. Digging up dead bodies is becoming quite the norm in Latin America. A Chilean judge recently ordered the body of poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda to be exhumed to determine whether or not he was poisoned. Francisco Caamaño, a guerrilla leader and former president of Domiincan Republic has also been ordered to return from the grave in order to be placed in Dominican Republic’s pantheon of heroes. And of course in 2010 Hugo Chávez famously dug up the remains of Simon Bolivar to try and prove that Colombians poisoned him. They did not. New York Times

AspergerMexican man with the autistic condition Asperger’s has won the right to make key decisions about his life without parental consent. Before the ruling, Mexican legislation banned him from doing simple tasks by himself, such as applying for a passport, and all papers had to be signed by his parents or legal guardians. But now he can do all the simple tasks he wants – without his parents approval! Now if only Britney Spears could do the same… BBC News

greenpeace actA week after Vladimir Putin lost the Nobel Prize to some chemical weapons inspectors, eleven Nobel prize-winners are asking the Russian president to drop the piracy charges against 30 Greenpeace activists and journalists. Are they trying to rub their prizes in his face or just trying to teach him how to win for next year? Either way, Russia isn’t budging. Message received: Moscow will not tolerate attempts to disrupt its development of its precious resource-rich Arctic. Reuters

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Diplomatic Immunity Ruins Diplomatic Relations Between Russia and the Netherlands

Diplomatic Relations

A week after a Russian diplomat was arrested in the Netherlands despite having diplomatic immunity, a Dutch diplomat was attacked by two men in his apartment in Moscow.

Relations were already pretty strained between the two countries after Russia detained Greenpeace activists on a Dutch-flagged ship and the Netherland launched legal action against Russia, but now they’ve taken a turn for the worse.

Russia was outraged OUTRAGED last week when Russian diplomat Dmitry Borodin was arrested in the Hague after a neighbor complained about him being extremely drunk and endangering his young children. After Borodin was held for several hours, President Vladimir Putin demanded an apology – a Dutch apology. And after a brief investigation, the Dutch foreign minister conceded that police had breached the rules on diplomatic immunity and Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans apologized for the arrest. The fact remains though that he was abusing his children, but…. diplomatic immunity!

Fast forward one week and Russia retaliates. A senior diplomat at the Dutch embassy in Moscow was tied up and beaten in his Moscow apartment by men posing as electricians. Onno Elderenbosch, 66, was returning home when the men jumped him, tied him up with tape, gave him a little beating and left “a heart with the letters LGBT” written in lipstick on the diplomat’s wall.

It is still unclear who assaulted the diplomat and why, but the message they left on the wall gives a pretty good sense of their motivations.

Netherlands has been super critical of Russia’s anti-gay stance. Earlier this year the Dutch welcomed Putin’s arrival with a gay pride parade where activists waved pink and orange balloons to protest against Russia’s ban on gay “propaganda” directed at minors.

The elderly Elderenbosch was only slightly injured in the Tuesday night assault, but the diplomatic relations between the two countries suffered more serious injuries.

Via: The Toronto Star 

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Iraq 2.0

Current EVent Cat - Iraq 2.0

Reagan’s baaack! And just in time for Iraq 2.0! As Reagan was perusing around Kenya on a search for big cats, Obama was agonizing over whether Syria had finally crossed the imaginary red line. Spoiler alert: they did.

Citing evidence of alleged chemical attacks against a Damascus suburb on August 21, Obama decided it was time for action. Military action. And by military action I mean the act of asking for a Congressional vote on military action.

But before Congress could return from their summer recess to argue the pros and cons of Iraq 2.0, Obama headed to a tense G20 meeting in St. Petersburg to have an awkward conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin and try to rally some support for an American strike on Syria.

In what came as a shock to no one, Putin and Obama had somewhat differing views on Syria (Obama: They crossed the line – military action!, Putin: No, it’s fine.) and not much was accomplished. After the meeting Putin released a terse official statement, reading, “I should be afraid of this skinny man? I wrestle bears.” (Official statement may not have happened, but I wish it did…)

Then, in a move that DID surprise some, Putin steps in with a proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control in an attempt to diffuse the situation.

Obama called the Russian proposal a possible breakthrough and subsequently let out a huge sigh of relief. He then gave Putin a huge bear hug for bailing him out of a tough situation that could have involved a humiliating Congressional defeat and a lengthy period spent convincing the skeptical American public that Iraq 2.0 was needed. (Note: bear hug also may not have happened, but again, I wish it did).

It’s unclear whether or not this possible diplomatic solution will be successful. Syria has accepted Russia’s proposal to avert a strike by handing over their weapons and Russia is working with Syria to prepare a detailed plan of action. But despite agreeing to the proposal, Assad isn’t really helping matters. The Syrian president is still denying his involvement in the chemical attack, stating that the rebels were behind the incident that killed 1,400 civilians. So the whole thing still sounds a little sketchy at this point… stay tuned for a “Putin Saves the Day” situation or a possible go-ahead on Iraq 2.0.

Via: Current Event Cats & New York Times

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Nuclear Cutbacks

Current Event Cat - Nuclear Cuts

President Barrack Obama has called for major nuclear cutbacks for both the United States and Russia.

Remember back in the day, shortly after his inauguration in 2009, when Obama said he wanted to rid the world of nuclear weapons? Well, four and a half years later, he’s remembered that promise. During his public speech in Berlin, Obama proposed reductions in the number of tactical warheads deployed in Europe.

Standing at the Brandenburg Gate, which once divided East and West Germany, 50 years after John F Kennedy’s celebrated “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, Obama told the crowd:

“Today’s threats are not as stark as they were half a century ago, but the struggle for freedom and security and human dignity, that struggle goes on.”

“We may no longer live in fear of global annihilation but so long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not truly safe.”

Obama called on the Russian government in particular to join the U.S. in cutting the number of strategic nuclear warheads it deploys – by one third. Not sure if Putin will be ‘putin up’ with this, especially given their disagreements over Syria at the G8 summit. But Putin did sign Obama’s New Start treaty in 2010, which stipulated that each side is allowed a maximum of 1,550 warheads and no more than 700 deployed launchers – so you never know.

Other topics Obama wanted to talk about in his Berlin speech: the president gave the crowd the usual “I WILL close Guantanamo Bay spiel, threw in a shout out to climate change, and went on the defensive about the recent NSA scandal.

The Germans tend to love Obama, but they love privacy more so the NSA scandal was particularly troubling to them. So Obama took some time to try and quell their concerns about his administration’s intentions with the recently revealed NSA spying program.

“This is not a situation in which we are rifling through the ordinary emails of German citizens or American citizens or French citizens or anybody else,” Obama insisted. “This is not a situation where we simply go into the Internet and start searching any way we want. This is a circumscribed system directed at us being able to protect our people, and all of it is done under the oversight of the courts.”

And to boot: the surveillance programs in questions helped thwart 50 attacks since 2001. Take that Edward Snowden!

Via: Current Event Cats & BBC News

Putin Doesn’t Steal Super Bowl Rings… And Other News

Super Bowl Ring

Putin: I did not steal that Super Bowl ring!

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of stealing his Super Bowl ring. Kraft says that during a 2005 visit to St. Petersburg, he showed the ring to Putin and never got it back.

“I took out the ring and showed it to (Putin). And he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring,'” Kraft said, “I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”

Kraft also said the White House called him and told him it would be in the country’s best interest to say the Super Bowl ring was a gift. But accrding to Putin’s spokesperson, “”What Mr. Kraft is saying now is weird.” Well said Putin spokesperson, well said. CNN

Turkey StrikeI guess Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Edrogan’s final warning didn’t work out that well. Now, Turkey’s two major unions, which represent nearly a million workers, are on stike! The unions went on a one-day strike to show solidarity with the protesters who were evicted from Gezi Park on Saturday night. The Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Guler said the strike was “illegal” and warned of police action. What doesn’t garner warnings of police action in Turkey these days? Al Jazeera

Arizona ImmigrationArizona’s Voter ID law just got DENIED. The Supreme Court voted to strike down the Arizona law requiring voters to provide proof of citizenship. Apparently the National Voter Registration Act trumps Arizona’s proof of citizenship rule. But that’s not going to stop Republican Senator Ted Cruz from making those illegals show their IDs! Cruz announced he would add a voter ID requirement to the comprehensive immigration reform bill currently being debated in the Senate. New York Times

British FallYou’re a dumbass for locking yourself out of the house, but you’re really a dumbass when you attempt to climb down the outside of the building from a 15th floor apartment to try to get back in. A British man survived a fall from the 15th floor of a building in New Zealand. Locked out, he was trying to lower himself onto his balcony, which was directly below his neighbour’s, when he fell. The 20-year-old who was apparently “tipsy but polite” at the time of the incident, suffered bone fractures and internal injuries but is expected to recover. BBC News

Anti Social AppA social media app for the anti-social: a new anti-social media app has been developed that let’s you avoid your friends. The app looks at your Foursquare friends’ recent check-ins, calculates “optimal locations for avoiding them,” and slaps everything onto a nice Google Maps interface. Then you can walk around looking like sh*t and not have to worry about seeing anyone you know! Provided all your friends have Foursquare and check-in places. In which case, they’re probably not your friends to begin with. NBC News

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G8 Summit: It’s Putin Against the World!

G8 Summit - Putin and others

Leaders from eight of the most powerful nations in the world gathered in Northern Ireland for a G8 summit to discuss the growing conflict in Syria (among other issues…)

The global leaders headed into a two day G8 Summit meeting today that will largely be dominated by the situation in Syria. The summit is followed by the recent decision by the United States to arm Syrian rebels, citing evidence that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime used chemical weapons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was not a fan of this decision. As the only G8 leader in support of the Syrian regime, Putin is a bit of a G8 Summit outcast and will probably be unable to find any common ground with the other members: the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan.

Referencing a widely circulated video of an opposition fighter appearing to eat the heart of a dead solider, Putin sharply criticized the US’s decision to arm the rebels.

“I think you will not deny that one does not really need to support the people who not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, eat their intestines, in front of the public and cameras,”

Are these the people you want to support?” Putin said at a news conference in London. “Is it them who you want to supply with weapons?”

U.S. President Barack Obama and Putin will get some one-on-one time today at the G8 Summit to discuss the situation. Obama will try to convince Putin to put pressure on Bashar al-Assad to relinquish his power.

“We still continue to discuss with the Russians whether there is a way to bring together elements of the regime and the opposition to achieve a political settlement,” said Ben Rhodes, a deputy U.S. national security adviser. “There are no illusions that that’s going to be easy.”

No, it will not be easy. Especially since the Syrian army has made significant gains lately, largely thanks to Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters. The recent wins have gone to Bashar al-Assad’s head, making it seem less likely he will ever back down. Add in the possibility that the US decision to arm the weapons could clear the way for Russians to supply missiles to Assad’s regime and the fact that the other G8 countries are not in full agreement on sending weapons – and it looks like Obama will be pretty busy. 

Of course, if he wants to free up some time to talk about other issues at the G8 Summit, he could always follow Sarah Palin’s approach to the Syrian conflict and just let Allah sort it out. Problem solved!

Speaking at the Faith & Freedom Coalition Road to Majority Conference, the former Alaska governor and reality TV show star suggested that the US should stay out of Syria and just leave it up to Allah.

“I say until we know what we’re doing, until we have a commander-in-chief who knows what he’s doing … I say let Allah sort it out.

So simple, yet so… brilliant?

Sarah Palin Syria

Via: The Globe & Mail

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Putin Announces his Divorce from Lyudmila

Putin and Putina

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, are done putin up with each other.

The couple, who have been married for 30 years, announced their divorce on Russian state television after attending a ballet performance at the State Kremlin Palace together. How very Russian of them.

“It was a joint decision, we hardly see each other, each of us has our own life”, Putin said.

Lyudmila, a former flight attendant, isn’t the most public person and has rarely been seen in recent months. The couple last seen together at Putin’s inauguration for his third term as president on 7 May 2012.

Asked to confirm if that was a divorce, Lyudmila Putina said, “Yes, you can say that, this is civilized divorce.”

“I do not like publicity, and the flights are complicated for me. We love our children, we are proud of them and see each other often,” she added.

Vladimir Putin, 60, and Lyudmila Putina, 55, were married in 1983 and have two daughters. The ‘trouble in paradise’ rumours started back in 2008 when a report about Putin divorcing Lyudmila to marry a 24-year-old gold medal-winning gymnast led to the newspaper that published the story being shut down – Putin style.

No word yet on Putin’s plans as a single man in the city but everyone should keep their eye out for his Match.com profile to pop up. In the meantime, this dog should be enough to comfort him:

Putin Loving a Dog

Via: The Telegraph

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Nothing says “Down with Putin” Like a Topless Protest

Putin Likes Topless Protest

Vladimir Putin was confronted by four topless protesters during a trade fair in Hanover, Germany. And he “liked it”.

The Russian President was touring the industrial fair with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel when four women stripped down and began yelling “F*ck Dictator”. At least one of the women also had the slogan written across her torso in black ink.

The demontrators, who are thought to be members of the Ukranian-based feminist group Femen, were quickly covered up and whisked away by security officers. But not before Putin got an eyeful.

“Regarding this performance, I liked it,grinned Putin at a joint news conference with Merkel.

Putin then laughed off the protest and thanked the demonstrators for helping promote the Hanover trade fair.

“We’ve all got used to these demonstrations and I don’t see anything terrible here,Putin said at the conference.

However, he added:

“If someone wants to debate political questions, then it’s better to do it clothed rather than getting undressed. You should undress in other places, such as on nudist beaches.”

Good point Putin. The Kremlin, however, was less impressed. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused the protesters of “hooliganism” and said they should be punished.

Meanwhile, over in Tunisia, things aren’t looking so jovial. The Tunisian woman who appeared topless in photographs last month with the words ”my body belongs to me” and “F*ck your morals” written on her chest now fears for her life. The act, also inspired by the Ukraine-based group Femen, known for its topless protests for women’s rights, attracted worldwide attention. The 19-year-old has since received numerous death threats and fears for the safety of herself and her family.

If only the Tunisian Islamists could have “liked it” as much as Putin…

Via: Reuters

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