It’s been a while since our last Update; thanks for that, COVID.
Here are a few events you might have missed in the mean while:
– Pakistan International Airlines has operated the first international commercial flight through Kabul since the Taliban’s takeover. Meanwhile, rumors of unrest and reprisals slowly trickle out of the embattled nation as citizens continue to avoid going out in public. Confirmation of civilian deaths in Panjshir Province has been released by the BBC. Also, the Taliban’s Education Minister has announced gender-segregated classrooms and mandatory hijabs.
– Russia has finally completed the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline into Germany. Presumably, this will mean yet another shift in the global balance of power between the shifting coalitions of energy conglomerates that own shares in national governments. Senator Bob Menendez, a wholly owned subsidiary of the New Jersey refinery interests, has urged the Biden Administration to sanction the pipeline.
– A highly pathenogenic avian influenza virus strain has been reported outside mainland China, this time in France. France has raised its alert status to “Moderate”. This is not expected to diminish France’s massive anti-COVID violent protests immediately, as the incubation period can take up to a week.
– Wells Fargo has been assessed a $250 million fine for engaging in a pattern of fraudulently unsafe home and auto loans, and failing to establish loss mitigation practices contrary to an earlier agency order. This follows on the previous fake accounts scandal of 2016, and its payment of $3 billion to settle earlier fraudulent practices. Wells Fargo has an asset cap of $1.95 trillion, a penalty imposed by the Federal Reserve.
– In Guinea, a military coup has unseated President Condé, the first democratically elected leader of that country, following widespread protests against his attempt to secure power for a third term by eliminating opposition candidates. In an unabashed attempt to curry favor, the Biden administration has mildly condemned everyone involved including themselves.
– In Myanmar, opposition leader Duwa Lashi La has called for a national armed uprising against the military junta that took control last year. Government forces then clashed with armed rebels in a small skirmish.
– El Salvador has become the first country to adopt Bitcoin as its national currency. In response, the price of Bitcoin plummeted 20%.
– President Raisi of Iran has announced his willingness to restart nuclear talks and has called on the United States to lift sanctions. The IAEA has regained access to certain monitoring cameras it was not allowed to check during the intervening years. Iran has made clear that they expect a substantially different deal going forward.
– The United States has removed its Patriot anti-missile defense batteries from Saudi Arabia as Iranian-manufactured and -supplied ballistic missiles continue to be launched against Saudi population centers from rebel-occupied West Yemen.
– Under protest, we’re including mention of the new overly-restrictive and frankly bizarre Texas anti-abortion heartbeat law. We don’t think it’ll stand, and therefore it’s not newsworthy, but many of our readers disagree. If nothing else, that alone is newsworthy.
– BREAKING: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has loudly objected to being referred to as a “young lady” by a Senator, on the grounds that the term is patronizing. Other lawmakers also objected on the grounds of inaccuracy. “She is young”, said Sen. Feinstein.
– THIS JUST IN: Epstein is still dead. People still think the imprisoned sex addict was murdered, despite the vast amount of evidence that points at failed autoerotic asphyxiation. (Well, I say “failed”…) Kids, don’t try this at home.
And that’s all the news that’s fit to print, plus some that’s not which we added just for fun. If you can’t tell the difference, you really shouldn’t be trusted with CNN, much less MSNBC or Fox ‘News’.
We offer two options: You can send cash to PayPal in order to help support us, or you can buy us a coffee. We can use the morale boost — and the caffeine, particularly now that post-COVID fatigue has set in.