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Happy New Year! Welcome back to this week’s installment of What Just Happened?!, a semi-comical weekly digest of the most important news from across the Internet, UK, US and the World from Will Marshall, and Alistair Simmonds-Yoo. Look out for us every Friday, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
There are some big stories this week so to keep things lighthearted, here’s a snake in a custom knitted jumper – otherwise known as a noodle-warmer.
“It’s Bond…” “Yeah 248 Bond Street, we know.”
Taking a play out of the antifa book… the UK government just doxxed a load of famous people and highly-sensitive government/security officials. The Government, in their infinite wisdom, published the complete home addresses of the New Year’s Honours list, including mega famous people like Elton John and mega important people from a national security perspective like SAS members (the British elite special forces) and senior intelligence officials. Utterly marvelous fuck-up and those responsible should be kept at arms length from government henceforth, although it seems more likely they’ll probably form a future cabinet.
How do you know someone’s a vegan? Because they’ll take you to court.
I’m going to start with a perhaps controversial statement: if you tell me that your veganism is a philosophical belief akin to religion, then you are officially the f*cking worst. A legal tribunal kicks off this week to determine whether ethical veganism (which excludes all forms of animal exploitation as opposed to dietary veganism) should be a “philosophical or religious belief” and therefore protected in law.
The case stems from Jordi Casamitjana, an ethical vegan who alleges he was sacked from his job after he complained that his pension plan included investments in companies which engaged in animal testing. His previous employer, the League Against Cruel Sports, who seem unlikely to be the sort of people who would sack you for this, state that he was actually fired for gross misconduct.
The U.S. deploys 3,000 troops to the middle east, following on from 650 sent into the region recently (in response to an uncharacteristic display of anti-American sentiment, which is saying something), as tensions with Iran reach a point for serious international concern.
Who knows what fresh hell we’re in for here as Iran vow retaliation for the U.S.’s drone-powered assassination of the Revolutionary Guard’s top general and leader of Iran’s foreign-focused Quds Force. Soleimani was ‘arguably the most powerful figure in the Islamic republic’, after the Supreme leader. Thousands of Iranian’s took to the street to protest-mourn his killing, at least that’s how the state media are portraying it – while the Guard’s spokesperson General Sharif grimly warns that “The joy of the Americans […] will not last long, and will turn to mourning”.
Maybe the Iranians will lay mines in the most important oil shipping route in the world, again. Or at the very least, be very well incentivized to hurry up with developing Nuclear Weapons. Sleep well, planet Earth.
White Settlement on White Settlement Violence
White Settlement, Texas… writes this observer in this post-racial era (brought to you by the world according to idiots), sees a member of the congregation produce a shotgun and start killing worshipers. Before, a moment which gun-rights activists have found immensely confusing, an armed member of the church’s security team (naturally, when in Texas…) kills the attacker. The confusing, or entirely overlooked, detail here is that this gentleman is a firearms instructor (whom actually trained other armed members of the church’s security team) and he killed the attacker in one shot. Other than those two, nobody else fired.
While I’m wary of commenting on something so sensitive and in the wake of such tragically needless loss of life… I can’t help but feel that if your church needs half a dozen armed people to protect it, then it probably isn’t serving the spiritual needs of the community in even the most basic sense.
Carlos is Gone
The disgraced former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn is no stranger to bizarre stories after he left prison in March 2019 poorly disguised as a construction worker (see below) to the hilarity of the press, but this time he’s really stepped up to the mark. Ghosn was being held under a loose house arrest in Japan after posting 1bn Yen bail as he awaits trial for financial misconduct, that was until he posted a video from Lebanon on New Year’s Eve. In his own lawyer’s words: “I am dumbfounded”.
The question now is how on earth did he escape the country? One story suggests he hid in an instrument case following a performance by a band at his house, which was then smuggled onto a private jet, but this has been denied by his wife. I sense hungry Hollywood producers sniffing around the movie rights already….
Pray for Koala
The devastating Australian fires which recently drew the inept political leadership home from their holiday. Here’s the PM in a military helicopter looking at the fires and doing diddly squat about the situation:
(& yes that’s an image of a Kangaroo on the helicopter, you’re welcome)
The Australian people are faced with an even greater tragedy than their PM as an area much larger than Belgium is burnt. Researchers at the University of Sydney believe that half a billion animals may have perished since the fires started in September. In the unparalleled heat of this year of our Satan, 2020, approximately 30% of the Koala population have met a tragic end.