State of the Maas | 19 April 2015

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Valar Morghulis, friends. Sincere apologies to the 5 people in our core audience for not posting anything the previous Sunday, but last week’s competition was so strong that I didn’t even bother to show up: Game of Thrones is back. Usually, that implies avoiding Facebook until you’ve seen the latest episode, ignoring your book-reading friends who are acting all smug because they’re already in the know, and picking a new favourite character every year, only for him or her to be brutally slaughtered before the end of the season. It’s a li le different this year though, because in this second golden age of piracy, the first four episodes have leaked onto the Internet shortly before the season opening (and no, this hyperlink will not direct you to a torrent site). We assume that many of you have already seen some of them, but for those who lost track somewhere in the previous seasons and who, like Jon Snow, know nothing anymore, the Washington Post made an illustrated guide of all the 465 (!) deaths of the first four seasons. Warning: spoilers ahead. In fact, in fear of spoiling anything at all, we just picked a photo of Hodor to accompany this piece.

The Iron Throne is not the only seat of power which is contested these days though. Earlier this week, Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for the United States presidential elections of 2016, and a er losing out in the Democratic nomination in 2008 to a certain Barack Obama, she is even more determined to succeed this time. Not unlike some of the families in Game of Thrones however, the House of Clinton has seen its fair share of scandals and intrigues, given husband and former President Bill’s multiple affairs with other women, and as we have seen in the show, this might come back to harm them in the future. Hillary is a keeper of peace though: she stood by her husband in the nineties, and during her time as Secretary of State, she presented the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov a “Reset Bu on”, symbolizing U.S. a empts to re-forge the ties with Russia. The bu on looked nice, but in hindsight it’s fair to say that it didn’t really work very smoothly, a bit like the Apple watch, apparently. Those of you interested in pressing bu ons themselves should check out this reddit page, where for no apparent reason, you can press a bu on, just like almost 800,000 people before you.

Meanwhile, current occupant of the American throne, President Obama, did exactly what everyone, but mostly all international media wanted to see, and shook hands with Cuban leader Raúl Castro at the Summit of the Americas. The only one not paying a ention was our Dutch Prime Minister Mark Ru e, who despite being within arm’s length, somehow missed the famous handshake.

On Friday, Russians had their opportunity to ask the man on their country’s throne questions, in the yearly Direct Line With President Putin event. We won’t discuss all of the questions asked during the almost four hour long Q&A session, but you can find a clip of Putin finding a potential new president (despite him being only 4 years of age) over here.

While the line of succession for the British Throne is about to become even more complicated with the imminent arrival of a second baby for Prince William and his wife Kate, let us focus for now on the Throne of Maastricht. With current mayor Onno Hoes about to be replaced, we would like to inform his successor, as well as all students (especially the ones who didn’t bother to check their email in the last 2 weeks), about the recent outbreak of scabies at the University. Check our website and Facebook for a special item in which we answer all the questions you might feel to embarrassed to ask yourself.

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