WTF Friday, 6/24/2016

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Welp, here it is Friday again, and this week’s round-up is… bleak.

The great hope of Burmese democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, has banned use of the term “Rohingya”, in favor of the oh-so-much-simpler “people who believe in Islam in Rakhine state“.

Eight high school students in Burundi have been arrested for seditious scribbling on a photo of President Pierre Nkrunziza. Because nothing says “we’re totally a democracy” like detaining children for what barely count as political views.

In yet another great sign about how the Rio Olympics are going to go, a jaguar participating (for some reason) in a torch relay was shot and killed when it escaped from its handler.

Oh, and remember the United Kingdom? That’s pretty much over.

WTF Friday, 1/27/12

In which I may have gotten tricked into believing something ridiculous. Thanks a lot, Globe. (via FP Passport)

Kutch just ridin the wave. Unlike earlier this month, I guess this one’s a “fun flood.”

The tournament more notorious for poor goalkeeping, administrative nightmares and tragedy rather than high quality football.” This is just not true. You gotta pick your burdens more carefully.

 

WTF Friday, 6/3/2011

Killing: definitely unbearable. Also unbearable: this headline.

Wow, someone is really trying to push the guilt buttons with this initiative.

I have less of a problem with the fact that the South Korean army was using pictures of the Kim family as target practice, and more a problem with how obvious that is! Gotta throw em some curve balls. Observe.

WTF Friday, 9/10/10

Maybe some of you have read this NYT article about the eduction gap in Brazil? Did this person have to be so mean about it: “‘We should be ashamed of ourselves,’ said Ilona Becskeházy, executive director of the Lemann Foundation, an organization based in São Paulo devoted to improving Brazilian education. ‘This means that 15-year-olds in Brazil are mastering more or less the same skills as 9-year-olds or 10-year-olds in countries such as Denmark or Finland.'” Is being behind Finland and Denmark really that shameful? I’m sure I could name a world power or two in that same position…

It appears that the ANC is attempting to put through two bills that seem to amount to censorship. Writers who were censored under Apartheid have drafted a letter stating “We are threatened again, now with a gag over the word processor.” I kind of just use Google Documents nowadays but I think I think I get the drift.

Is the torch being passed in North Korea? Maybe we should get used to this. He’s also apparently a big Jean-Claude Van Damme fan so the people of North Korea might need to get used to stuff like this.

Did Fidel Castro accidentally buy a ticket for the Straight Talk Express?

WTF Friday, 8/20/10

  • In deportation news, the UK and France are going buck wild and looking to deport 20,000 Zimbabweans and 700 Roma, respectively. France has already moved forward with the plans while the UK is first performing a fact-finding mission. The mission is intended to assess the political and economic climate, but let’s hope it also assesses the real climate, which would push back the deportations until October when the UK is in the middle of Fall and Zimbabwe’s Summer begins. Upgrade!
  • Thanks to Kate for pointing me to this story on Southern Sudan planning to remake cities to look like animals. I was skeptical at first, but I was the same way when I heard they had cookies shaped like animals, and let’s just say I’ve been eating more than my words ever since.
  • Ok Brazil really needs to get a little tougher with its anti-slavery laws. I realize fining a company for keeping slaves on its ranches is better than turning a blind eye, but placing a monetary value on this kind of thing opens the door to a cost-benefit analysis on slave labor. Tell me someone’s not crunching these numbers right now.

X-Judy Entry Number 5: Brazil

Reader Karolina Castro offers yet another reason to avoid the Brazilian prison system: risk of massacre. (Totally worse than being forced to join a gang.)

Karolina draws our attention to the oldie-but-goodie 1992 Carandiru massacre in which 111 inmates died in the aftermath of a prison riot. The Military Police later argued that the 102 inmates shot with government-issue bullets were killed in self-defense. Clearly, they self-defended the hell out of those prisoners, many of whom were found to have been shot dead while hiding in their cells after having stripped naked as a sign of surrender. Others had been shot in the head execution-style. Oh yeah, and the troops all survived unscathed.

Of course, Brazilian inmates have proven that they don’t need the Military Police around to pull of a rockin’ massacre. In 2002, a prison riot at Urso Branco devolved into open gang warfare, eventually resulting in the beheadings of several unfortunate inmates. Karolina tells us that surviving prisoners followed up the slaughter by playing soccer with the decapitated heads. They are also rumored to have sent one along to the prison’s director as a thank-you gift. Classy.