The Not Fake News Update, 19 August 2020

It’s easy sometimes to miss what’s really going on in the world while being subjected to the endless distractions of infotainment. And, now that there are so very many of us self-isolating, we have the further limitations of our own personal echo chambers. All things considered, it’s a wonder anyone ever notices anything at all.

So here’s a quick update on what you might have missed in the past few days while paying attention to other things. We hope it may be of use.

– Following the recent election in Belarus, social unrest has become dramatic. Protests are mostly peaceful, but the general strike is nevertheless having a crippling impact on the economy. Lukashenko has not resigned, and some sources report law enforcement defecting to the protesters. Diplomatic pressure from E.U. member states is balanced in part by offers of support from Russia.

– There has been a successful military coup in Mali following weeks of protests over the government’s handling of the ongoing civil war combined with an economic crisis. Following his detention by members of the Garde Nationale, President Keïta resigned, also dissolving the government and parliament. There’s no word yet whether he’ll commit suicide or instead be shot trying to escape.

– There are wildfires in California; this happens most years during the hottest and driest parts of the summer. Several are on the former site of Tulare Lake, which as of this writing was unable to be reached for comment.

– More rockets were fired at embassies in Kabul — according to Reuters, possibly in an apparent attempt to derail peace talks. Ten were wounded and two people were arrested.

– Following a massive oil spill in Mauritius that created one of the worst environmental disasters on record in that nation, the wrecked ship has broken apart and the captain arrested. Much of the oil has been recovered, but the consequences are nevertheless expected to be devastating.

– Reorganization efforts and efficiency programs at the U.S. Postal Service have been officially delayed until after the November election due to massive public outcry. In a statement, Postmaster DeJoy said, “To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded.”

– The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will be open for oil drilling leases, according to the Secretary of the Interior. Lease sales will be available by the end of the year. In addition to drilling for oil, some critics have accused the Trump Administration of drilling for votes, though it’s not clear how those would travel to other states — possibly by pipeline.

– Uncle Joe Biden has been officially nominated as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate for this November, ending months of endless suspense and speculation. He is expected to formally accept the nomination on Thursday, this despite unconfirmed reports that he’s wandered off and hopped an “Amtrak to anywhere”. Meanwhile, AOC has entered the name of Bernie Sanders for nomination, though we’re told that’s just a normal political gesture.

– The United Arab Emirates has formally normalized diplomatic relations with Israel; in exchange, Israel has ended its plans to annex portions of the Gaza Strip. This has greatly angered Iran and somewhat polarized internal politics in U.A.E. rival Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, pipe bombs tied to helium balloons continue to stream in across the Gaza border, igniting fires throughout southern Israel.

– The temporary government in Bolivia has confirmed the date of the upcoming elections for October 18th. They had been delayed from May due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis amid predictions of new peaks throughout the summer. Any further delay will now draw penalties under Bolivian law.

– Fortnite has now gone to war against both Apple and Google following their decision to remove it from their respective app stores after Epic Games cut them out of microtransaction fees. Unfortunately, only lawyers and not actual executives will be involved in the upcoming conflict, which will take place in largely in highly ritualized cut scenes based in courtrooms across America.

– Twitter briefly suspended the Babylon Bee for violating platform manipulation and anti-spam rules. The suspension was later lifted, and Twitter unexpectedly apologized, presumably after realizing that it’s a satire site.

– BREAKING: Epstein is still dead. This makes a new record number of days that Epstein has been dead, with no end to this streak in sight. Epstein was unable to be reached for comment, presumably on account of being dead. More details as we get them.

And that’s all the news that is news plus some that probably isn’t. If you notice something we missed, please do let us know. Submissions should be written on the back of hundred-dollar bills and hand-delivered under the door of the men’s room at the DNC convention hall. Second stall; the first one’s for delegate payola.

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