North Korea Fears “Kim Fat Fatty,” While Others Watch Russia
Yesterday, President Obama began his last overseas trip, with a stop in Greece. While there, he told reporters, “I still don’t feel responsible for what the president-elect says or does. But I do feel a responsibility as president of the United States to make sure that I facilitate a good transition and I present to him, as well as the American people, my best thinking.” The President’s farewell tour includes a stop today in Germany to meet with Angela Merkel and other European politicians. Later in the week, Obama will arrive in Peru for the Asia Pacific Cooperation summit. Putin will also be in attendance at the summit and a Russian spokesperson said it’s possible that Putin and Obama may have a meeting during the event to discuss Syria.
Russia and Putin came up yesterday in a statement released by Senator John McCain, who issued a warning against Trump-Putin relations. “With the U.S. presidential transition underway, Vladimir Putin has said in recent days that he wants to improve relations with the United States. We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America's allies and attempted to undermine America's elections,” he said. “The Obama Administration's last attempt at resetting relations with Russia culminated in Putin's invasion of Ukraine and military intervention in the Middle East.”
Meanwhile, Trump and Putin shared a phone call on Tuesday to discuss Syria. The Kremlin issued a statement that the two will attempt to normalize ties between the countries, as Putin wished Trump his success and both parties found the current relations unsatisfactory. Further phone calls and in-person meetings have either been planned or are in the works. Hours after the phone call took place, Russia announced a major air offensive in Syria. A barrage of airstrikes occurred on the city of Aleppo, said U.S. officials. The strikes are ongoing and coming from a Russian Navy frigate in the Mediterranean. However, one Pentagon spokesperson says that the missiles are merely a show and that the Russian firepower already in Syria are more than enough to cause serious damage. The Russian defense minister, while not particularly mentioning Aleppo, did say that Russian warplanes would be targeting ammunition depots, armament factories and training camps in Idlib and Homs.
In North Korea, officials are asking China to stop calling Kim Jong-un fat. China has been referring to the Korean leader as “Kim Fatty II,” as well as “Kim Fat Fatty,” in the media. Now, North Korean officials are worried that their leader will discover the insulting media stories and that he’ll look for someone to blame, a frequent occurrence in the country which typically ends in a frightening disappearance of the accused. It’s reported that Kim Jong-un has in fact put on quite a large amount of weight recently due to a diet largely made up of seafood, Swiss cheese and whiskey.
A tiny West Virginian town is causing quite an uproar. A Ms. Pamela Ramsey Taylor from Clay, W.V., population 491, apparently posted on Facebook that she thought “it will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified first lady in the White House” and that she’s “tired of seeing a Ape in heels.” The local mayor commented on the Facebook status saying that it “made her day.” The post and its comment have been spreading through the media at a ridiculous rate and a petition with more than 85,000 signatures and growing is circulating asking for the two women to both face some sort of punishment. Currently, Taylor has been fired from her job at a nonprofit, and the mayor is facing reevaluation by the town council. Taylor has said that while her status could have been interpreted as racist, she did not mean for it to be, and that she felt her “ape” comment was more about a personal opinion on attractiveness, not on skin color. She is now considering taking legal action for slander. The town of Clay has no African American residents, and the county as a whole has a 98 percent white population.