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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 9:29 AM

GLOBAL CRISIS AVERTED. Holy moly macaroni, you guys... Facebook was down for 31 minutes, it's longest outage in four years... and it was terrible... because people... they had to idly scroll through other social networks (do those even exist)... or... and this one's almost too terrible to contemplate... not look at screens at all.

President Obama is about to give a speech on Iraq's civil war and the very important question of whether we should become more deeply involved. America's willingness to bomb the Sunni Islamist army advancing on Baghdad has so far been tied to a demand that the country's current prime minister, a Shiite, end his sectarian reign. The insurgents, better known as ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, have come close to conquering Iraq's largest oil refinery, a sign of their strength and relentlessness. The Sunni-led ISIS troops have also been helped by Iraq's still-surviving network of Saddam Hussein loyalists. So much for the Arab Spring and its empty promise of moderate Islamists willing to work within the confines of modernity.

And look at Russia! Ukraine tried offering separatists a peace deal—only to see it firmly rejected. And now, it seems, Russian forces have been returning to the border just a couple of weeks after most were pulled back.

Meanwhile Finland, which also borders Russia and spent a good portion of the early 1940s under Soviet rule, is suddenly way more interested in joining up with NATO.

Republicans are close to voting in a non-Tea Party purist from California as their new House majority leader. And if that came with some drama, it won't be anything like the donnybrook over who replaces, one fine day, John Boehner as speaker.

Child pornography is banned in Japan. Unless it's done in ink or pencil or Photoshop or some other kind of pixels. Then it's still cool.

Osama bin Laden almost got his own CIA-sponsored action-figure line in the middle of the Bush years—an effort to sap his hold over Muslims by making him look demonic and idolatrous. (And also amazingly like a muhajedeen Darth Maul.)

American Apparel has grown too valuable, its investors decided, to risk further stain from the skeeve and sexism that's been associated with its longtime CEO. Dov Charney has been ousted.

Johann Breyer, at 89 years old, was known for living a quiet life as an engineer and Philadelphia family man. But that was after, prosecutors say, he served as an Auschwitz prison guard. They've tied him to the Holocaust deaths of 216,000 Jews.

A Juneteenth resolution passed by Dallas' county commission was a clever ruse by its only African American commissioner. His unthinking and unfeeling colleagues never read what they assumed was just diversity fluff, only to find they had also voted to officially endorse reparations for slavery.

PUBLIC SHAMING BY THE TV NEWS ISN'T OBJECTIVELY GOOD. BUT WHAT HAPPENED. IN THIS INSTANCE OF IT, IS. OBJECTIVELY.

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