WTF Friday, 1/7/11

With the South Sudan referendum fast-approaching, George Clooney’s “Not On Our Watch” is funding commercial sattelites to monitor possible conflict in the country. Clooney has described it as “the best use of his celebrity.” Kinda just seems like he’s trying to recruit a mercenary for Ocean’s Fourteen.

The Dominican Republic has again begun deporting illegal immigrants from Haiti after suspending this practice in the wake of last year’s earthquake. Alright, looks like everything’s back to normal.

Al Shabaab has arrested regional leaders for stealing $10,000 in aid intended for drought-affected areas. If they just kicked out the remaining aid agencies they wouldn’t have to worry about this kind of embarrassment…

WTF Friday, 12/10/2010

Sarah Palin will be visiting Haiti this weekend with the relief group “Samaritan’s Purse.” The name of this organization is equal parts brilliant and disturbing. I’m leaning towards disturbing as I doubt a Palin-affiliated charity would possess any more self-awareness than the woman herself.

Putin “slams” US for Assange arrest warrant in an effort to demand freedom of pr….nevermind it’s just to get them back for shit-talking Russia. False alarm.

And, from the “not an ‘Onion’ article” department, Mogadishu gets its “first tourist.”

WTF Friday, 9/24/2010

This is the original version of an NYT article that they later tried to edit. Part conflict journalism, part travel guide: “Another witness, Fartun Abdi, reported recognizing the body of a civilian boy she knew as well as those of three government soldiers lying in alleys of Mogadishu’s Ceel Hindi neighborhood, famous for its cactus trees.”

Looks like a raucous time down at the Chavez rallies. Sounds like the crowd must have got super juiced when the Prez “started bouncing up and down while swinging his arms like a boxer and said: ‘We’re going to give them a beating.'” At least I know silly sports metaphors are not exclusive to American politics.

“Former Liberian warlord Prince Johnson has told the BBC there is no reason he cannot stand in the country’s presidential elections next year.” Really? No reason? Look I’m not pretending all politicians are saints, but when you film yourself cutting off a dude’s ear, haven’t you kind of made your bed? Then again, he is currently an elected senator…

WTF Friday, 7/16/2010

  • I would have to imagine that many people’s perception of child soldiers will change after this NYT article. It reports on the U.S.-funded Somali government’s use of child soldiers. This is telling: “When asked how the American government could guarantee that American money was not being used to arm children, one of the officials said, ‘I don’t have a good answer for that.'” Also I have to give a wtf to Obama for his response to questioning regarding America’s place alongside Somalia as the only countries not to have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child: “It is embarrassing to find ourselves in the company of Somalia, a lawless land.” That’s just rude, really.
  • Following the World Cup, there have been rumors of the possibility of a return of xenophobic violence in South Africa. And even if there hadn’t been, Jacob Zuma would scare everyone about it anyway: “Let us isolate all elements who may have sinister agendas, who may want to create havoc and sow pain and destruction in communities.” What a wordsmith, right?
  • Bashir’s finally got the trifecta! The ICC earlier this week added a warrant for genocide to go along with a previous warrant of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Hope he thanks his mom in his acceptance speech. This is also the ICC’s first warrant for genocide, so congrats to them, too. According to Elise Keppler, senior counsel with the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch, “President al-Bashir’s stonewalling on the initial ICC warrant against him appears only more outrageous now that he’s also being sought for genocide” Really? That’s what appears outrageous? Not the fact that a second warrant was issued after the first one was followed only by Bashir “kicking out nearly half of Darfur’s humanitarian aid providers?” Ok whatever you say…

  • And finally, FP reports on Beijing’s lock-down policy for migrants. A banner reads, “Closing up the village benefits everyone.” Really? Everyone? Guess I’ll just have to continue with this trusting mood today…

WTF Friday, 7/2/10

  • President Goodluck Jonathan has suspended the Nigerian national team for two years due to their poor performance in the World Cup. You don’t have to be a soccer fan to see the outrageous fallacy in this logic. FIFA is not happy about this interference.
  • Three convicted rapists have been freed from a Vietnam prison after an acupuncturist claimed to have identified them as virgins due to red spots on the back of their ears. Damn this lady would have really ruined like 65 percent of CSI episodes. (Hat tip to Lisa!).
  • In facial hair news, here’s something I missed from last week. Somali insurgent group, Hizbul Islam, has ordered men to grow their beards and trim their mustaches, NOT the other way around. Finally someone is clamping down on this kind of tomfoolery.
  • Lastly, in what is considered a very important trial in South Africa, former police chief, Jackie Selebi, has been convicted of corruption for providing favors to drug dealers in exchange for cash and designer clothing, including the unnecessarily specific “Hugo Boss knitwear.” Barry Bearak, fashion buff posing as a “serious journalist.”