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The All-Encompassing World News Thread

When you say something so egregiously shitty that even the Auschwitz Memorial Twitter account calls you out:


Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post

When you say something so egregiously shitty that even the Auschwitz Memorial Twitter account calls you out:

"Sorry, Auschwitz, but I think I might know a little bit more about this subject than you."


An E.U. regulation on advanced braking might've prevented the tragedy from being worse:

A[quote name="Iron Maiden" url="/community/t/156118/the-all-encompassing-world-news-thread/50#post_4195204"]Israel says it's going to impose sanctions on New Zealand for its Security Council vote:

Andy Bain, is there a lot of trading between Israel and New Zealand?

They are apparently 55th in our trade partners.

They seem to send over either spies or overstayers who sell shit cosmetics, then bunk without paying rent or reimbyrsing people when they are found out to be heavy pressure sales people.

Fuck 'em. I am ridiculously proud that we are the only Western country to put our name to condemning them for their aggresive apartheid policies and crimes against humanity.

A worker at a Japanese ad agency killed herself because she was working 100 hours per week and getting insulted:;gwt=pay

The chief apologized and is stepping down.


The current political turmoil in South Korea potentially being a look into the future of the Trump presidency (as opposed to being a mirror for it):



The Choi Soon-sil scandal, and the subsequent impeachment of Park Geun-hye, are seismic events that are sending shock waves throughout the world. The scandal’s magnitude and bizarre nature are tempting many observers to connect it to other seismic political events around the world, such as the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and the election of Donald Trump in the United States. Seizing upon the massive weekly protests, the observers claim that the South Korean “people” are tired of the “status quo” and are now revolting against the “establishment.” By making this connection, these observers are trying to forge some type of grand theory of global politics, trying to capture a planet-wide zeitgeist of some kind.

But this is all wrong—a lazy analysis that is totally ignorant of Korea’s recent political history. Korea’s reaction to the the Choi Soon-sil-gate does offer a real political lesson for the world, but not because it is the second coming of Brexit or another version of Trump.

Just matching up the basic facts of these events reveals how facile this comparison is. Both Brexit vote and Trump election were fairly close affairs. Brexit vote was around 52 percent “leave” to 48 percent “remain.” Despite his campaign manager’s deluded claim of a “landslide,” Trump won with one of the worst margins of electoral college in U.S. history, and trailed Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes across the country. In contrast, Korea is totally unified in its rejection of its president. The support for Park Geun-hye is around 4 to 5 percent, essentially a statistical error.


If there is any class element to Choi Soon-sil scandal, it is the reverse of Brexit and Trump election: it is Korea’s urban middle class raining scorn upon a lowly impostor.

What, then, is the lesson that the Choi Soon-sil scandal offers? I suggest that Korean people’s reaction to the Choi-gate is not a reflection of the contemporary trend that gave us president-elect Donald Trump. Rather, what we are seeing in Korea now is the future of Trump. Korean politics already had its own Trump, and it is now showing the world what is going to happen next.


I believe Korean politics runs ahead of the world politics. But because I am most familiar with the politics of my own country—the United States—let me stick with the U.S. politics going forward.

Why does Korean politics foretell the U.S. politics? Because in the last 30 years or so, Korea as a country has been running at the forefront of the two major trends that have been driving the changes in the world, and in the United States: economic liberalization and the internet. These two trends create societal changes, which in turn create political changes. And Korea experienced those changes earlier than just about any country in the world, including the United States.

What are the societal changes that arise from economic liberalism? Roughly speaking, in an economically liberal society, the government creates the conditions for the population to be educated and move freely to find jobs created by free enterprise. This leads to urbanization, as clusters of knowledge and skill—otherwise known as “cities”—engender greater level of efficiency and innovation, essential ingredients for participating in the global economy. Since the 1970s, Korea followed this script to the “t.” Korea set up a national public education system and steered its best and the brightest to become teachers by luring them with high wages. The best and the brightest graduates of those public schools usually moved to Seoul where the best colleges were, and settled there. In the boom times of late 20th century Korea, anyone with half an ambition left their hometown and moved to Seoul. Only those unable—people who couldn’t keep up at school, older people, people who were too tied to their hometown for whatever reason—remained.

The changes in Korea occasioned by the internet have been equally dramatic. In what may be one of the most successful infrastructure projects in human history, the Kim Dae-jung administration, which ran from 1997 to 2002, heavily invested in providing high speed internet throughout Korea. Thanks to this prescient investment, Korea enjoys the world’s fastest internet, available throughout the country. This allowed Korean society to experience nearly all of the internet-related social phenomena around 5 to 10 years earlier than the rest of the world did. Social networking? Long before Facebook, Korea’s own social networking site Cyworld had 32 million users by 2002 in a country of 50 million people. Cyberbullying? Meet “dog poop girl” from 2005. Opinion echo chamber and fake news? Koreans have been living with it for more than a decade.


This world is, in essence, a world characterized by extreme sorting. People sort themselves into segregated spaces, both physically and virtually. The fault line runs urban-rural, more educated-less educated, young-old, forward looking-backward looking. Population of South Korea is 50 million, and nearly half of that population lives in the Seoul metro area. Seoul is one of the shining beacons of global economy, a nexus that connects Korea to the world. The city vacuums up Korea’s young talents by steering them toward its prestigious universities, and make them stay in the area by providing them well-paying jobs. At their jobs, Korea’s young and the talented produce the some of the world’s most advanced technological products. After work hours, they dress in hip clothes and enjoy the pop culture that leads the global trend.

Korean government has done much to assist Korea’s rural areas, but it simply cannot reverse the tide of the times. Traveling from Seoul to one of Korea’s rural villages is not merely a travel of distance, but also a backward travel in time. There, few things changed since the 1970s, except that all the young people have left. The “young” people in those villages refer to people in their 50s, not in their 20s. The few remaining young men in those villages, bound to stay there to inherit the family farm, mail-order their wives from Southeast Asia because no young Korean woman wants to live there. Life there is a toil, and it is not sustainable in the long term.

But everyone in Korea has high speed internet. Koreans were the first in the world to find out that greater availability of information did not lead to greater consensus; instead, it led to creation of information echo chambers in which people consumed information—real or fake—that confirmed their pre-existing world view. Politicians cynically exploited this new environment by “weaponizing” fake information, spreading easy-to-believe tropes through instant messenger apps and internet discussion boards. Distrustful of the media that wouldn’t report the “real news,” the Korean public would increasingly rely on their favorite channel of information from the internet, verifiability be damned.

China is shutting down its ivory trade:


Sweden wants to cut the VAT rate on repairs to curb "throwaway culture."


Struggling to raise money in France Marine Le Pen might be asking Russia for a loan:


Queen Elizabeth startled a Buckingham Palace guard:

The guard told her that he almost shot her.

A[quote name="Iron Maiden" url="/community/t/156118/the-all-encompassing-world-news-thread/50#post_4203049"]Queen Elizabeth startled a Buckingham Palace guard:

The guard told her that he almost shot her. 

Fuck. That would be a bad day at the office.
A"Take that, villain! Thought you could sneak into the palace, eh? Well, not on my watch... Oh, fucksake!"

*removes funny hat and weeps into it*

Norway will become the first country to switch off its FM radio network, and many think it might be too soon:


Critics say the government is rushing the move and many people may miss warnings on emergencies that have until now been broadcast via the radio. Of particular concern are the two million cars on Norway's roads that are not equipped with digital audio broadcasting (DAB) receivers, they say.

Sixty-six per cent of Norwegians oppose switching off FM, with just 17 per cent in favour and the rest undecided, according to an opinion poll published by the daily Dagbladet last month.

Nevertheless, parliament gave the final go-ahead for the move last month, swayed by the fact that digital networks can carry more radio channels.

Other countries are cautiously watching to see the results.


Indonesia's fake news problem:


Japan is recalling its ambassador to South Korea over a statue that commemorates Korean women who were forced to work in Japanese brothels during World War II.  A deal was reached in 2015 for Japan to apologize and start a fund for the victims; Japan says the terms of the deal were broken by the statue:


Civil unrest in Mexico due to a massive hike in gas prices.  Protesters briefly seized gas tankers and one guy rammed his truck into several police among others things. Good thing we have a US president who won't rush to judgement or make economic matters worse by tweeting right?


Northern Ireland golfer is still miffed at the Olympics for forcing to choose between Ireland and Great Britain:

AAustralia's "lets mine big data and claw money back from welfare bludgers" Centrelink is making life miserable for a fuck ton of people.


Its a system that is incorrectly identifyong "debtors", presumably because the parameters it is using are nonsense and designed to be draconian. But they've also made it nigh on impossible to complain or appeal against it, in what seems to be a genuinely Kafkaesque nightmare. I'm not sure if its a spoof but I've read that they provide a number for a suicide hitline rather than a genuine helpline.

Great overview of it here. The Aussie gov is trying to blame the "IT", but it seems to be by design (as in data analytics will work depending on the parameters you feed the algorithm). This is scary shit because it could happen anywhere and can genuinely be seen as (another) attack on the poor and disadvantaged.

It's pretty brazen trying to dodge this at all.  A glance at the assessment of anyone who got a letter shows you exactly what happened.

They collected your reported income from the tax department and averaged it.  If that translates to over a certain amount per fortnight, then you have been overpaid and must give it back or go to jail etc.

That's...not how the system works  (not yet anyway).  If you make less than a certain amount in a given week (with a few other conditions) you are entitled to claim benefits.  It's not a loan.

They're pretty happy that a) the department doesn't know how to maths and b) Australia doesn't know how to maths either so will pay it out of fear and the correct amount of fuss will not be applied to the government by the public.

Seriously, if a Labor government did this it would be the leading news story for 18 months.  Sounds a bit conspiratorial of me, but there's a clear pattern to how the press at large react to government scandals.  We're still finding out about crap that happened under Howard.  Labor never get away with anything one tenth as bad.

They've been trumpeting how many hundreds of millions they are going to extract back from overpayments for months.  I would not be surprised if they projected all this via the same method and probably allocated the money already.  Which they now won't get.  And hopefully they'll get sued into the bargain.

"Conservatives and Neo Liberals are the better financial managers.  They usually understand business and money in the real world, not like these woolly headed lefties. The public know they are in safe hands."


The Russian Embassy in the U.K. is now using Pepe, everyone's favorite Nazi frog, as a criticism of U.S./U.K. relations:


Russia is close to making domestic abuse from first offenders a misdemeanor with no jail time:


The new legislation was proposed by ultra-conservative lawmaker Yelena Mizulina, who also successfully lobbied for the passage of a law banning so-called “gay propaganda” in 2013. She argues for decriminalizing domestic violence on the grounds that parents in Russia should have the right to hit their children.

“In Russian traditional family culture parent-child relationships are built on the authority of the parents’ power,” Mizulina told lawmakers before the vote, according to the Moscow Times. “The laws should support that family tradition.”

As reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), the new legislation fits within Russian President Vladimir Putin’s socially conservative agenda.

One of the bill’s authors, Olga Batalina, reportedly told her fellow lawmakers that the amendment would only concern assaults causing “bruises or grazes.” RFE/RL also cited ruling party official Andrei Isayev as saying that domestic assault would only be considered a misdemeanor on the first offense, but a criminal offense on the second.

The numbers we already have awful:


Domestic violence is endemic in Russia, and overwhelmingly affects women, who account for about 74% of victims of domestic violence in the country, according to government figures from 2013 with 91% of those incidents perpetrated by husbands. Most research on violence in Russia links abuse to alcohol consumption.

According to the Moscow-based ANNA National Center for the Prevention of Violence, women already see little point in seeking legal recourse for abuse, a situation that could worsen if the bill is enacted. Some 74% of women who sought assistance from a national help-line never reported abuse to police, the group said.

A 2003 study by Amnesty International concluded that 36,000 women were beaten by their husbands each day in Russia, while government figures from 2008 said that 14,000 women died each year at the hands of their spouse or other family member.


Apparently there's a scandal and political turmoil in Northern Ireland that is affecting - or not affecting - Brexit:

home taping is killing music

Yeah, the heating subsidy thing is going to cost Northern Ireland hundreds of millions, total cock up, heads rolling and all that. But, if the deputy minister goes, so does the first minister according to the terms of the Good Friday agreement. Brexit has to be (or at least politically has to be) triggered in March, but it's a two year process for god sakes. And Northern Ireland has made it's position clear, they don't want Brexit.

But, thanks to the complexities of the GFA, a new government could take a LOOOONG time to put in place, especially if Sinn Fein drag their heels.

This is basically a play for unification or full devolution from Sinn Fein, timed at the best possible moment.


Given the how the benefits version went, this can only end well 


Summer continues to avoid New Zealand 


RT has been using the editor of a neo-Nazi magazine as its expert on Germany and the Middle East for the last four years:


Ochsenreiter's neo-Nazi ties are likely to be a source of embarrassment for a news outlet that acted as a mouthpiece for Putin's repeated claims that the Ukrainian revolution was hijacked by Jew-haters, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites.
A(Assumption) meth is a hell of a drug

I imagine Pauline Hanson screaming "WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE'S NOT MUSLIM!! IS HE AT LEAST BROWN???"

Edit: not meaning to make light of this but I KNOW this is what alt-right will be thinking
ANot sure about the One Nation dingbats, but David Leyonhjelm took the opportunity to make a crack on Twitter about gun control.

It's bloody awful, anyway - those poor people.
AGambia's former president, Yahya Jammeh, has finally left:

He also emptied the treasury:
ABritain, desperate to prove it's relevance, highlighting that it too is a country run by soulless arseholes.

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WikiLeaks doing what it can to get a Le Pen victory in France:


South Korea's bonkers presidential scandal continues to unfold:

Park blames woes on Choi Soon-sil’s boy toy


Francois Fillon is embroiled in a scandal in France before the election:


The Trump administration might've put Iran "on notice" (whatever that means), but the words to describe the increasing violence in Ukraine have been much more careful.

It's really escalating again:


A Vladimir Putin critic and journalist is in a medically-induced coma:


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