The Not Fake News Update: 18 May 2020

Hello, good morning, and welcome to the latest Update from The Not Fake News!  Here’s a list of stories you might have missed while watching other things.

– Pro-democracy meets pro-Beijing in the Hong Kong legislature, and sparks fly.  Physical altercations over control of a process committee led to law enforcement intervention during the most recent session yesterday, as Beijing retained control of leadership functions.  This isn’t the first such event, and it’s unlikely to be the last.  Democracy is not always neat and tidy, remember.

– One of Canada’s demonstration flight team, the Snowbirds, has crashed and died during a support flight in British Colombia honoring medical responders to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Another pilot was injured in the event.

– The European Union has officially called for an independent investigation into WHO’s handling of the initial Coronavirus outbreak in China.  Meanwhile, American media continues to mock the Trump administration’s efforts to deflect blame onto WHO for the outbreak.  To be fair, they’ve got a point; they’re just not making it all that well.

– Lina Attalah, editor-in-chief of Mada Masr, was arrested in Egypt while doing an interview outside a prison complex in Cairo.  Mada Masr is one of the few surviving sources of independent journalism in Egypt.  As a side note, The Not Fake News has exactly zero plans of opening an Egyptian branch office.

– Israel has finally sworn in a new government.  It’s been years, people, and they haven’t had a government.  They’ve been operating on holdovers and bureaucratic inertia ever since the last vote of no confidence.  Yesterday’s compromise gives temporary power to each of two Prime Ministers, who will take turns until either the next vote of no confidence or the next scheduled elections, whichever comes first.

– Afghanistan has also completed a power-sharing arrangement between the top rivals for government control.  Government instability has created an opportunity for rival militant groups to disrupt the ongoing peace process.  It’s hoped that, by working together, the major factions will be able to deter — I don’t have the words to properly describe the horrors that have gone on there.  Speaking of those horrors, militant groups have been falling all over themselves to decline responsibility.

– Sanctions placed by the United States against Chinese chip-maker Huawei over that company’s distribution of government spy chips in their products have seriously disrupted the global supply chain for cellular phones and towers, according to an anonymous Chinese government response.  Chinese reprisals are expected.  Meanwhile, American media sources are downplaying or outright ignoring the cause for the sanctions in the first place, though whether out of hate for Donald Trump or a desire to do business with China’s oppressive information-suppressing regime isn’t clear.

– The AP has begun debunking fake stories being spread on social media.  One of their targets is a video purporting to show German protests against Bill Gates and vaccines; the video is actually of 2017 demonstrations in Warsaw.  Germans are in fact protesting Bill Gates for some reason, but they aren’t opposed to a Coronavirus vaccine in general.  Of course, the main reason they aren’t is that one doesn’t exist yet; more on this later.

– As of Sunday, NASCAR is the first major American sport to resume competition since the outbreak began.  I’d make a wiseass comment here except I can’t think of one and don’t really care enough about NASCAR or, for that matter, sports in general.  Best of luck, though.

– The governor of Puerto Rico has announced that there will be yet another statehood referendum in the territory this November.  Anti-statehood organizations are expected to announce a boycott of the ballot, which is their customary response since they can’t get a majority.  American law is fairly clear, however, in that voluntary lack of participation doesn’t get people extra votes.

– Official sources in the European Union are slowly beginning to release their conclusion that no vaccine for the novel Coronavirus is likely to be available this year.  It’s unknown when this information might start to get disseminated in the United States, but sources tell us it’s likely people will continue believing whatever the hell they want to believe without any interference from the facts.  Meanwhile, tourism states are starting to panic over their dawning realization that a pandemic might just slow tourism money a little.

– THIS JUST IN:  CNN has broken a story to the effect that the firing of State Department IG Steve Linick last week was done to end an investigation over Mike Pompeo’s alleged misuse of staffers to run personal errands.  So much for that, I guess.  And yes, this is sufficient grounds for impeachment if it’s true.

– BREAKING NEWS:  This just in from Spain — Generalissimo Fernando Franco is still dead.  Also, Epstein is still dead. Biden and Trump are not, and Andrew Yang is no longer running for president. Which is very sad; we could use him right now.

If there’s something we missed in this update, please do let us know in the Comments. Or, to really draw our attention, you could always send us money using the button below. The Not Fake News operates largely on your donations, so it’s a darn good thing I enjoy ramen noodles.

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