One of the most striking sights in some Australian cities is the white ibis, an exotic-looking large bird that has adapted to city life as a scavenger. Here's a hilarious spoof of nature documentaries. Read the rest
"And I’m proud to say that when we get there, it will be as the Alt-Warmth. Just think: under the old name, we couldn’t even get anybody elected dogcatcher." Read the rest
Benjamin Hart journeys to the forgotten post-industrial town of Bleaksville, Kentucky and digs deep to find the answer to the question no other journalist (apart from the roughly 7,200 who wrote articles on this subject during this election cycle) will ask: why are Trump supporters so angry? Read the rest
German prosecutors have dropped an investigation into comedian Jan Boehmermann over a ribald poem he wrote about Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reports the BBC.
Boehmermann's televised performance quipped that Erdogan fucked goats, among other insults, leading to an official complaint and an investigation.
Boehmermann is a satirist and television presenter well-known for pushing the boundaries of German humour.
The poem was broadcast on ZDF television. The comedian was later given police protection.
Mr Erdogan has drawn much criticism in Turkey and internationally for attacking political opponents, including harassment of journalists. Many accuse him of authoritarian methods, stifling legitimate dissent and promoting an Islamist agenda.
The Turkish government cited an ancient lese-majeste law making it illegal to insult foreign heads of state. Though saying the law should be scrapped, German Chancellor Angela Merkel approved the inquiry and was critical of Boehmermann.
In the resulting uproar over free speech, however, both Merkel and prosecutors came under withering criticism—and stories about Boehmermann and his work only proliferated.
Other people who have quipped about Ergodan's alleged affection for quadrupeds include UK foreign minister Boris Johnson.
The Simple Sabotage Field Manual was published in 1944 by the Office of Strategic Services, the agency that came to be the CIA: it outlined simple tactics for putting bureaucratic grit in the wheels of occupied countries, for example, by referring key decisions to committees and then obstructing the work of those committees. Read the rest
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The homepage is a great exemplar of the minimalist-but-not-really monosite that's basically every website now. Read the rest
A German satirist faces court action after insulting Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on television.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, in granting Turkey's request to allow the prosecution of Jan Boehmermann, cast her decision as adherence to the country's laws against insulting heads of state: “In a state governed by the rule of law, it’s not the domain of the government, but rather the prosecutors and the courts, to weigh individual rights.”
But critics say the law itself is an unacceptable infringement of essential freedoms, and point to another issue weighing heavily on Merkel's mind: the need to keep Turkey sweet so it will accept more refugees.
The furor has centered on Boehmermann, a comedian with public broadcaster ZDF who two weeks ago recited a poem about Erdogan that plumbed the depths of bawdiness in an effort to test the boundaries of acceptable satire under a law protecting foreign heads of state from libel. Merkel says her decision wasn’t a prejudgment on the satirist’s culpability.
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday that the German comedian had committed a “crime against humanity” by insulting the Turkish head of state. “No one has the right to insult” Erdogan, Kurtulmus told reporters. Erdogan himself also filed a complaint with German prosecutors seeking legal action.
Boehmermann would receive no more than a small fine if convicted, according to legal experts. The poem was designed to test German limits on free speech, writes the BBC.
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In true Boehmermann fashion, the poem was more complicated than simply a string of obscenities.