1.KIEV IS ON FIRE. The violent standoff in the Ukrainian capital continues after police moved in on a camp set up by demonstrators. At least 26 people are confirmed dead, with countless more injured. Violence isn’t new to Kiev, though yesterday saw a dramatic increase after a month of relative quiet. What’s it all about? Protesters want a Ukraine that operates more like the European Union, and less like a Russian-style oligarchy. Here’s why what’s happening in Kiev, some 800 miles from Sochi, is Putin’s worst nightmare. Here’s a more detailed explainer on how Kiev ended up in flames. And here’s more on why the protesters are so angry. To see just how ugly things got, check out these photos.
2.PLAYING THE VICTIM. Since when does killing someone and suffering the repercussions include getting to play the victim card? Michael Dunn, who prosecutors say killed another man after an argument over loud music, says he’s the real victim, as opposed to the actual victim, who is dead. Dunn claims that at the time of the incident, he refused to be the victim and fought back by shooting the perpetrator. And now, Dunn claims, he has become the victim, as the direct result of his original refusal to be the victim. Get it? Basically, as a society we need to consider placing more value on people who shoot people when they won’t turn the music down. It’s not just Michael Dunn. George Zimmerman, who shot and killed an unarmed teenager, is making similar claims, reminding us that it was, in fact, Trayvon Martin who victimized him . Zimmerman says he’s not just a victim but also a scapegoat. For what, exactly? It’s unclear, but it involves “the government.” Thankfully, Nancy Grace is here to set him straight. What’s Zimmerman up to these days? Well, he’s thinking about becoming an attorney, which is great. What this country definitely needs is another lawyer with questionable character.
3. NEVER EAT AGAIN. How many people honestly haven’t considered stabbing someone over a doughnut? With such a vast selection of animals, why do Americans eat so few types of meat? Is it time to add more pigeon and squirrel meat to our diets? Speaking of broadening our diets, this summer Nestle announced plans for a new line of “premium” hot pockets. We rejoiced over the news that the once hum drum freezer aisle product would soon include luxurious options like “real cheese.” With the new, fancy options, could Hot Pockets become something you choose for yourself, as opposed to something you offer to the children whose health you long ago had to give up on when they refused to eat vegetables? Fast forward to this week, and the announcement that Nestle recalled almost a quarter million cases of the product, citing concerns about the meat. The recall is part of a larger meat recall, which came as the result of concerns that meat being sold in stores was from diseased animals. The recall also includes bull testicles, listed on menus as “Rocky Mountain Oysters.” Here’s an idea for the next Hot Pockets premium product release: pigeon hot pockets. (With “real cheese,” of course.) Now that you’re thinking about meat, take a look at the original locations of 15 fast food chains.
4. ONCE A NAZI, NOT NECESSARILY ALWAYS A NAZI. A Swedish non-profit is working with neo-Nazis who want out. And it’s not the only group focused on helping members of racist and nationalistic movements find a way to extricate themselves. In semi-related news, the FBI is investigating a case of vandalism at the University of Mississippi. In sad news that seems fit for a diffrerent era altogether, some idiot went and put a noose (adorned with a Confederate flag) on a statue of the school’s first black student. In yet another piece of semi-related news, Georgia has a new license plate. There’s a Confederate flag on it.
5.ALSO … Still care about the Olympics? Here’s an update of everything that happened on Day 12. Forget meth. Forget heroin. Texas has a license plate addiction. It hasn’t been a great couple of days for the members of Pussy Riot in Sochi. First, they got arrested. Then they were attacked by “whip-wielding” militiamen. The town of Cranberry, Pennsylvania just wants a little respect. Nothing major, just to be, I don’t know, included on the occasional map or recognized as an actual place by the phone company. Is that too much to ask? Does doing the Lord’s work include spending three years behind bars? For one 84-year-old nun with a history of civil disobedience, it would appear that’s the case. Apparently Joe Namath isn’t the only one buying fur coats. There’s a fur comeback, and Nordic farms are making a bundle. After a series of violent attacks, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is encouraging women to “walk in pairs” to ensure their safety. Why are men never told to adhere to the buddy system? Also, if you’re a child in Zimbabwe, you might have been better off walking in pairs, if only to avoid coming into contact with America’s most perverted ex-congressman. Once you’ve made your way through the new season of House of Cards, and the Bachelor has made his choice, and the new American Idol is anointed, it might be time to stop watching so much TV. Then again, Red Sox season gets underway in 42 days. So, maybe not.
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