The Not Fake News Update, 27 May 2020

Here’s what you might have missed while binge-streaming the Great British Baking Show — or, alternately, putting in 60 hours straight at your essential job:

– Riots in Minneapolis after video of a police officer suffocating a man during an obvious excessive force apprehension goes viral.  Four officers were fired and charges against them are considered likely, but protestors — including some few from the Chicago area — nevertheless paraded, then marched, then lectured, and finally got tear gassed after provoking police.  They wanted headlines; they got me.  Slow news day.

– Pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong were dispersed by riot troops firing pepper pellets.  Recent symbolic actions in the high councils of the main Chinese lawmaking body have generated fear of a loss of autonomy by Hong Kong residents, and this most recent round of protests has been ongoing for three days.

– Five tankers of refined gasoline flying Iranian flags have crossed an American quasi-blockade to offload their cargoes in oil-producing Venezuela.  It’s not as silly as it sounds; Venezuelan oil, while in vast supply, is heavy, and best suited for industrial uses.  Both the Venezuelan and Iranian economies are being crushed by American and United Nations sanctions, and there’s little debate but that this was a deliberate attempt at a provocation.  Fortunately, saner heads prevailed and war has failed to erupt.

– The worst plague of locusts in modern history is presently hitting Indian crops.  It’s one of three major locust events going on right now in the developing world.  Meanwhile, Americans are complaining about a very noisy mass cicada eruption which is expected to litter porches, roads, and walkways with dead bugs for several weeks.

– In an effort to combat a deluge of fake news, Twitter has begun fact-checking President Trump’s Tweets.  We’re told that this is intended as one of many such steps to be taken by the social media giant.  Curiously, no other account has yet been given these labels.

– Massive unseasonal storms hit western Australia and Bangladesh, forcing the evacuation of millions, the deaths of thousands, and untold property loss.

– A four-alarm fire badly damaged Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.  Several structures on the wharf were destroyed, but the WWII Liberty ship docked there was saved.  There’s no news yet about whether the fire was deliberate arson and insurance fraud, but we’re told investigator Johnny Dollar is on the scene.

– Burundi has elected a new leader, which ends a brutal campaign of voter suppression, torture, murder, and widespread violence in order to sway the election.  The new government is expected to continue the previous government’s policy of widespread violence, torture, murder, and corruption in defense of Burundian democracy.  Meanwhile, Suriname has held elections to replace its president, who along with fifteen others was convicted of mass murder during its 1982 campaign season.

– Vermin Love Supreme, perennial protest candidate for president in the United States, has lost the contest for the Libertarian Party’s endorsement.  Dr. Jo Jorgensen is the party’s official nominee, making her the only woman with access to more than 270 electoral votes in November’s election.  There are presently 610,000 registered Libertarians in the United States, slightly better than half a percent of likely voters.

– SpaceX is scheduled to launch Americans into space later today, weather permitting.  Florida has been having its normal late afternoon violent thunderstorms; presumably after the scheduled torrential downpour, the reusable craft will transport the long-quarantined astronauts to the International Space Station.  Launch is supposed to be around half past four.  This will mark the first manned space flight from American soil since the shuttle program was ended a decade ago.

– BREAKING NEWS:  Epstein is still dead.  This is a new record, marking the longest the deceased former millionaire has remained dead since his apparent demise in a prison cell, when he inexplicably failed to fall down an open elevator shaft onto some bullets.  Spokesmen for the deceased are not commenting on the extended duration of his expiration, which is expected to continue for at least the near future.

That’s the news in a nutshell.  You may now safely ignore CNN for the next week without fear of missing anything important.  You could before too, but now you have my permission as well.

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