Unheralded Stuff: 10 February

Goodness, between wildfires in Australia, the Sochi Olympics and Danish Zoos feeding dead giraffes to lions it’s a wonder anything else was reported. Fortunately I’ve gone looking so you don’t have to. Here’s today’s Unheralded Stuff:Breaking news

Iran has started sending war ships towards US Maritime Borders because Fuck You United States, that’s why. The US Defence Response is that this is an “announcement”, not a “deployment”. I’m not sure of maritime diplomatic nuances, but I’m sure that means something.

In Medina, Saudi Arabia, 15 people have died and another 130 injured in a devastating hotel fire. Though the fire was brought under control in under three hours, the fact that there were 700 guests staying there meant that damage was high.

In a move that Enoch Powell would be pleased with (historical reference), Swiss voters have elected to introduce quotas on newcomers to the country when 50.4 per cent of voters supported the measure. This is surprising given that apparently one in four of the Swiss population are immigrants. According to the article it was the German speaking Swiss who were more in favour of the quota system. Oh you Germans. Always with your racial impurities.

In a move to counter that, and in our “I didn’t see that one coming” file, the United States has relaxed its rules for asylum-seekers and others who want to live in the US but at one stage gave “limited support” to terrorists or terrorist groups. People will still be checked if they are a threat to national security, but that “limited support” thing means they won’t automatically be excluded if they got a little bit into terrorism. Like I got a little bit into Hanson when they released Mmmbop.

Remember when Japan had that big earthquake just after the Christchurch earthquake. And then the nuclear reactor at Fukushima got badly damaged. And the whole world went “shit, this nuclear thing might be a bad time if we live near fault-lines”? Well Japan doesn’t. Because Tokyo has just elected a new Governor who is pro-nuclear. Yoichi Masuzoe was elected with 30 per cent of voters, after the two anti-nuclear candidates garnered about 20 per cent each. Mr Masuzoe is supported by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who is keen as mustard to get Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors reacting again.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that striking imagery seems to have fallen away, Ukraine is still in a state of civil unrest. About 70,000 Ukrainians gathered in Kiev to protest some more against the current Government. For background, the protests started when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich decided against a trade deal with the EU and instead sided with Russia. Apparently Ukrainians are hot on trade and decided this was a bad move.

And finally, Argentina has suffered severely in economic terms since the 1980s. Once the seventh richest country on earth it has since defaulted three times on its international obligations. This is a bad thing as we all remember the bluster and panic when the United States got close to defaulting. Having said that, Argentina still remains a country. It’s just its citizens are getting fucked over by economic mismanagement by politicians.

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