The Not Fake News Update: 29 June 2020

During these fraught times (n. freight; cargo {archaic}) it’s easy to lose track of major happenings in our country and the world around us.  Plus, sometimes it’s nice to just leave the television turned off and ignore the news.  It can get overwhelming.

So whether you just want to catch up on anything you might have missed or have instead gone out of your way to miss everything you could, here’s today’s update of the actual news (not fake!) with special focus on what’s getting missed by major media.

So.  Are you sitting comfortably?  …Good.  Let’s begin.

– The ongoing protests are still… well, ongoing.  It’s been a month since Lake Street in Minneapolis burned, and while that city is working toward a solution (of sorts), the national conversation seems to have turned away from police brutality and toward the removal of statues, names, old sitcom episodes, and Aunt Jemima.  While TNFN has no position on Aunt Jemima one way or the other, we remain opposed to police brutality yet strongly approve of the Duck of Justice.

– The Mississippi Legislature has voted to remove the Southern Cross from its official state flag, appointing a commission to redesign it.  In an unusual Sunday session that required a rules change or three, overwhelming veto-proof majorities approved the measure, which the governor had earlier announced he’d sign just to end the controversy.  It should be noted that a few days ago the NCAA had chosen to prevent Mississippi from hosting tournaments unless they changed the flag.  No word yet on whether the athletics organization will next target Florida, Georgia, Alabama, or Arkansas.

– In Serbia, a candidate nation seeking E.U. membership, the ruling party won the parliamentary elections in a landslide after the opposition declared a boycott.  While the elections were ruled at least minimally democratic by election observers, the OSCE has been quite critical, particularly over the absence of a free press.  While it is true that TNFN has no satellite office in Serbia, the same can be said of several other countries and in no wise should prejudice anyone against them.

– News has leaked that Russian intelligence agencies have been offering bounties for dead American soldiers in Afghanistan, if true a startling echo of American common practice there in the 1980s.  Meanwhile, more peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have been announced for July.  There is no reason to suspect that these peace talks will bear any more fruit than former peace talks, particularly as the war has been so profitable for the Taliban thus far.

According to El Mundo, traces of SARS-Cov-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 outbreak, were found during a study of sewage samples drawn from Barcelona and frozen since March of 2019.  Only one sample contained trace amounts of the virus, leading some to speculate on contamination.  Further investigations are ongoing; thank God I’m not on the team.

– International soap corporation Unilever has joined the ranks of those boycotting Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter advertising, citing insufficient efforts on the part of social media to block hate speech.  Meanwhile, both companies have seen a mass exodus to rival Parler as a response to censorship by management.  The editor of The Not Fake News has opened a Parler account as Gnerphk in order to “bring some balance to the Force.”  Jedi younglings reportedly objected to this statement as hate speech, but no member of their group could be found to comment.  (Too soon?)

– The government of the Congo has announced an end to the Kivu Ebola epidemic.  Another, more than a thousand miles away, was announced earlier this month in Mbandaka.  The second outbreak is apparently limited to 24 cases so far and has every likelihood of being under control.

Lightning strikes reportedly killed more than one hundred people during a single day in two provinces in India, with dozens more killed by flooding and fallen trees during a monsoon impact.  2300 people per year die of lightning strikes across India, compared with an average of 49 in the United States.  Monsoon season generally ranges from June through November.

– Iraqi government forces assaulted an Iran-backed militia stronghold, detaining more than a dozen members.  This was the most effective Iraqi action against Iranian militias in several years, and was likely undertaken at the request of American diplomats.  Kataib Hezbollah, the group raided, has been launching rocket attacks at American military bases for some months now.  UPDATE:  Higher echelons of the Iraqi military have announced that the militants have been freed, the two rocket launchers seized in the attack notwithstanding.

– The Trump Administration has established new Federal hiring standards going forward, which directs hiring, pay, and promotion to be based on merit and experience rather than education level.  Henceforth, a person’s actual ability to perform the job for which they’re being hired will be the primary attribute considered, and level of education will be considered less relevant.  Unfortunately, this means that, going forward, government may actually begin to perform the tasks for which it was designed, resulting in unnecessary discomfort and interference in the lives of the citizenry.

– UPDATE:  On Friday morning, election officials in Louisville, KY told TNFN that, to date, they had received 185,811 absentee ballots.  Very few more were expected and some may be invalid; nevertheless, we maintain our earlier position that, if this was voter suppression, it’s got to be among the least effective efforts in history.

– UPDATE:  Just after we went to press, we received word that Governor Inslee of the State That Shall Not Be Named is blaming Trump for his state’s recent rise in COVID-19 cases, recent unrest in Seattle apparently being negligible and completely harmless.

– UPDATE:  China’s governing body has passed a sweeping new bill with respect to Hong Kong.  Details haven’t been released overseas, but it was sufficient for State to issue a complete ban on all defense exports from the United States to China.  Residents are reportedly awaiting the results with dread.  More as we get it.

– This just in from our crime reporter:  Epstein is reportedly still dead.  However, as we mentioned in our last Update, polka will never die.  (It deserves a second mention.)

That’s all the news that is news (unless we forgot some, in which case we trust you’ll remind us).  Obvious irony aside, it’s also true to the absolute best of our knowledge.  No younglings were harmed in the making of this news digest.

TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

There’s a reason your news is biased: It’s because you want it to be.

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