S1 E12: Nuclear Weapons, Russian Geckos & Thailand: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

S1 E12: Nuclear Weapons, Russian Geckos & Thailand: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

John Oliver's Recap of Depressing News

  • John Oliver provides a recap of the week's depressing news, including the ongoing crisis in Gaza and a diplomatic incident involving a US congressman mistaking State Department officials for Indian government representatives.
  • Oliver criticizes countries with lese majeste laws, including the Netherlands, Kuwait, and Denmark, and mentions an incident involving Prince Henrik of Denmark dressing up in a panda costume and harassing people.
  • The news media's coverage of certain stories is questioned, such as the ongoing attention given to Miley Cyrus and Dennis Rodman, while more significant issues like the threat of nuclear annihilation receive less focus.

Concerns about Nuclear Security

  • Oliver emphasizes the importance of addressing the threat of nuclear warheads stored in the United States, particularly the outdated hardware and software used in some of the systems, such as the use of floppy discs to receive launch orders.
  • A group of 17 Air Force officers responsible for controlling nuclear missiles in North Dakota received a marginal rating in a proficiency test, raising concerns about the safety and security of the nation's nuclear arsenal.
  • In Montana, 34 Air Force nuclear launch officers were stripped of their certification after one officer allegedly texted the answers to a monthly proficiency test to others.
  • Instances of officers leaving open blast doors and sleeping while on duty were discovered, highlighting lapses in security protocols.
  • Major General Michael Carey, a former commander, was relieved of his command due to inappropriate behavior during a trip to Russia, including intoxication and disruptive actions.
  • Vice Admiral Tim Giardina, another high-ranking official, was removed from his position after being caught using counterfeit poker chips at a casino.
  • The United States has had several close calls with nuclear disasters, including the Goldsboro incident in 1961, where an armed nuclear bomb nearly exploded over North Carolina, and a 2007 incident where six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles were mistakenly loaded onto a B-52 bomber and left unguarded for 36 hours.
  • Despite the risks and the high cost of maintaining nuclear weapons, the United States has slowed down its efforts in reducing its nuclear arsenal.
  • Political interests and resistance from lawmakers who benefit from having missile silos in their states hinder progress in reducing nuclear weapons.
  • Public apathy and lack of attention to nuclear security issues contribute to the slow pace of disarmament efforts.

Other News Stories

  • There are unverified reports that ISIS has ordered women in an Iraqi city to undergo genital mutilation, which highlights the ongoing prevalence of this practice in many parts of the world, including Egypt where 91% of married women aged 15 to 49 have undergone it.
  • Thailand's military government expresses concern over John Oliver's activities, considering him a threat to the monarchy due to his criticism of the country's lese majeste law, which can result in imprisonment for insulting the monarchy.
  • The speaker highlights various depressing news stories, including the conflict in Ukraine and the Gaza ceasefire, but suggests that rescuing geckos lost in space could be a unifying cause for humanity.
  • They encourage viewers to contact the Kremlin and demand the rescue of the geckos, providing the Kremlin's contact information.
  • The speaker acknowledges that Russia claims to have reestablished contact with the satellite but dismisses it as a lie, urging viewers to continue pushing for the rescue of the space geckos.

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