S1 E14: Predatory Lending, Russian Sanctions & Iraq: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

S1 E14: Predatory Lending, Russian Sanctions & Iraq: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

US Military Intervention in Iraq

  • The US military has resumed airstrikes in Iraq to prevent the genocide of the Yazidi people.
  • President Obama emphasized the reluctance to take military action and reassured that combat troops would not return to fight in Iraq.

Data Breach and Gaza Conflict

  • A Russian gang stole 1.2 billion usernames and passwords, resulting in the largest data breach in history.
  • Despite a ceasefire, the Gaza conflict continues, and a new app called "Bomb Gaza" allows users to simulate killing civilians.

Payday Loan Industry in the US

  • The main story focuses on the rapid growth of the payday loan industry in the US, surpassing the number of outlets of Starbucks or McDonald's.
  • Payday loans are short-term loans with extremely high interest rates, often trapping customers in a cycle of debt.
  • Payday loan companies employ deceptive practices, including hidden fees and complex terms, making it difficult for customers to understand the true cost of their loans.
  • The industry remains largely unregulated, with companies exploiting loopholes to avoid state regulations.
  • Some payday lenders partner with Indian tribes to gain sovereign immunity and evade regulations.
  • Despite the predatory nature of payday loans, they provide relief to borrowers, creating a dangerous dynamic.
  • Many borrowers resort to borrowing from family or selling possessions to repay payday loans.
  • To combat the industry's influence, a counter-campaign featuring a celebrity spokesperson is necessary.
  • Sarah Silverman suggests alternative fundraising methods, such as selling sperm, blood, or intentionally getting hit by a rich person's car.

Russia-US Tensions

  • Russia has escalated tensions with the US by tweeting unflattering images of President Obama and holding a laser light show depicting him eating a banana.
  • In response to Russia's ban on food imports from Europe, Australia, and the US, the US warns Russia that its chickens and soybeans are single and ready to mingle on dating apps.
  • Russia is reminded that the party foul is on the prow, and vegetarians are offered an edamame bean as an alternative.

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