Today the New York Times published an incredible, and incredibly detailed, account of unrestrained favor-trading within the Obama administration. In a nut: The president’s cabinet, including the State Department under Hillary Clinton, suspended travel bans placed on certain Ecuadorian nationals who committed fraud (and worse) after those nationals’ family members pledged five- and six-figures sums to Democratic organizations.
Back in June 2012, a tortoise died. That is, in and of itself, kind of newsworthy, given that giant tortoises have a lifespan of well over 100 years; the oldest one, the un-creatively named Jonathan, is still kicking at 182. But the death of Lonesome George was particularly sad, given that the old fellow was believed to be the last of his kind, a Pinta Island subspecies of Galapagos tortoise. He wasn't, by tortoise standards, all that old; according to PBS, George had barely broken 100 when he died in Galápagos National Park, and park officials said they'd investigate his cause of death. (They ultimately determined he'd probably perished from natural causes.) But now, two years later, a serious disagreement has broken out over what remains of George.
On Sunday morning, Edward Snowden boarded an Aeroflot flight in Hong Kong, landing in Moscow more than 13 hours later. We think. The truth is, no one's quite sure where the NSA leaker is—Moscow? Havana? Quito? Reykjavik? (He's not on Aeroflot Flight 180, we know that much.) But we can reconstruct his movements—and speculate where he's headed.
Julian Assange will be granted asylum in steamy Ecuador, reports the Guardian, citing an Ecuadorian official. Assange has been hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 19th, seeking asylum from president Rafael Correa in order to avoid an extradition order to Sweden where he faces a sex crimes investigation.
File this under "the medium is the message": At a teeny-bop concert in Ecuador, Miley Cyrus performed the world's most incongruous rendition of Nirvana anthem "Smells Like Teen Spirit." I say this as someone who once witnessed a violin-flute duo called Nerdvana at an Illinois summer camp talent show in the '90s.