Happy New Year, and welcome to the first year of the Twenties. May they Roar!
In case you’ve been overwhelmed by headlines and internet trends, here’s a few happenings you may have missed over the past few days. For those of you who have been avoiding all media but this, I’ll mention a couple of recent events that everyone else will recognize. I’m sure they won’t mind.
– Boeing has agreed to a $2.5 billion settlement to avoid criminal charges over deliberate fraud in the design of the 737 MAX, which according to the DoJ “deliberately placed profits over safety”. An additional $13 billion will likely be spent on redesign and retooling before the aircraft is again considered safe. 130 planes have been delivered, at an average price of over $60 million each, so the fine is… somewhat small.
UPDATE: Following publication, yet another 737 has gone down in the Java Sea.
– Iraq has issued an arrest warrant for President Donald Trump over what they’re calling the assassination of QUDS leader Qasem Soleimani last year. Facebook, however, is content to merely ban his account through Inauguration.
– Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris have been confirmed by the House and Senate to have been elected as President and Vice President, respectively. This followed delays caused by the penetration of the Capitol by costumed demonstrators following a brief riot against thoroughly unprepared U.S. Capitol Police. One police officer died, possibly of injuries; one demonstrator was shot to death; three other demonstrators died of other causes including heart attack and stroke.
– Most front-line medical professionals in the United States have had sufficient access and time to receive both their first and second doses of vaccine for COVID-19. Hundreds of millions of additional doses are being manufactured and distributed, though it’s unlikely herd immunity will have been achieved before mid-summer even if everyone is willing to get a shot — which many are not.
– Cryptocurrencies have achieved a total market capitalization exceeding $1 trillion for the first time in history. According to independent indicies, fine art portfolios, collectible coins, stamps, and rare books are all skyrocketing in value. Meanwhile, Beanie Babies have hit an all-time low.
– Sudan has joined the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in signing a treaty normalizing relations with Israel. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has reopened borders with neighbor Qatar after a three-year crisis. Meanwhile, Israel has launched retaliatory airstrikes into Syria against Hezbollah forces.
– The state of Mississippi has officially adopted the new Magnolia Flag as their state’s banner. This supersedes Confederate emblems from the former flag, leaving now only Hawaii as a state flying the symbols of a foreign power. There appears little likelihood, however, of Hawaiian secession.
– Runoff elections in the state of Georgia have apparently left the U.S. Senate with a 50-50 party split, with Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins successfully maintaining their cover as Republicans and Joe Manchin as a Democrat. The tail is fully expected to wag the dog over the coming two years.
– Iran has pledged to begin enriching uranium to a degree only useful in building nuclear weapons over the next two months. This announcement coincides strangely with the upcoming transition of power in the United States.
– China continues arresting pro-democracy activists, journalists, politicians, and natives of Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has announced her willingness to begin talks with the mainland.
– The transition period of Brexit has finally ended with the adoption of a trade agreement between the UK and the EU. A similar agreement between Spain and the UK has left Gibraltar in the UK’s hands but still an adherent to European trade zone practices.
And that’s all the news we’ve noticed here at The Not Fake News headquarters. If you’ve run across something we’ve missed, please do let us know.
Meanwhile, feel free to donate to support The Not Fake News. We’re running a bit low on ramen and we’re out of coffee entirely, but there’s still a bit of tea left plus that one can of Spam.