“Well, it’s Groundhog Day. Again.”
-Bill Murray, “Groundhog Day”
Aside from that, not much really seems to be happening. Except… is there? While the major news networks are full of reports on topics ranging from the erratic entertainment value of the Superbowl to “Uncle Joe’s” flying home for the weekend in the face of COVID lockdowns, isn’t it possible you might have missed an event or two of actual importance?
We at The Not Fake News think so, which is why we bring you these periodic news digests. Buckle in; I promise it’ll be a ride.
— Two new variants of COVID-19 (which we don’t call the Chinese Virus) are causing significant alarm: the South African strain and the Brazilian (which we DO call by their country of origin — go figure). The Oxford vaccine was shown in a small, very limited, informal trial to be weak against the South African variant, which spreads rapidly. More alarmingly, the Brazilian variant may possibly be able to reinfect. Both strains have escaped their country of origin. However, it’s important to note that the “maybe” factor is high in both analyses. Regardless, South Africa has suspended their rollout of the Oxford vaccine.
— A new Ebola outbreak has been reported in the Congo following a woman’s death in the eastern part of the country. This is the first such report since the elimination of the Kivu outbreak three months ago (curiously also named after the geographical location of the outbreak — English sure is a funny language -Ed).
— The Haitian government reports it has put down an attempted coup against President Moïse, arresting 23 protesters. The protesters assert that his term ended Sunday, whereas Moïse interprets their constitution as granting him another year in power. Local elections have been indefinitely delayed since just after Moïse’s accession to power in 2016 on a poll since repudiated and canceled as incurably corrupt. On Friday, the United States confirmed acceptance of Moïse’s government while at the same time encouraging free elections; presumably, there was no concern over any potential mixed signals.
— Following yet another military coup in Myanmar, an estimated ten thousand people marched in protest in the streets of Yangon. State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi has been arrested and imprisoned by the military, which continues to engage in a program of genocide against the country’s Rohingya minority. Military leaders cite election irregularities as justification; twelve out of twelve independent election monitoring groups disagree. No word yet on whether the Councillor is scheduled to commit suicide or die trying to escape, or when the Biden Administration will choose to recognize the new government.
— The Cuban government has officially approved private-sector work in the majority of national industries. Previously, most of the means of production were tightly controlled by the government, which owned constitutional monopolies. Under the new system, government monopolies will be retained only by a few industries, largely expected to be utility backbones. This move has been hailed around the world (though not in the United States as yet) as a vital step toward freedom in the Caribbean nation.
— Asylum restriction measures put in place by the Trump administration against refugees from several countries in Central America have been ordered lifted by executive order of President Biden. This is one of many such orders issued by the President in recent days. Meanwhile, temporary overflow camps are being erected along the border, anticipating a massively increased influx of paperwork-deprived would-be immigrants who have opted to avoid unnecessary immigration-related red tape by the simple expedient of ignoring it. Among these facilities are several dedicated to housing unaccompanied minors, the numbers of whom are already spiking.
— Pope Francis has named a woman, Sister Nathalie Becquart, as an Undersecretary to the Synod of Bishops, making her the first woman in history with a right to vote in the Synod.
— Turkey’s foreign minister has named the United States government as being behind the failed 2016 coup attempt against President Erdogan. In context, the Turkish government is generally seeking to ease tensions and if possible convince the U.S. to remove arms sales restrictions and other sanctions levied against that nation. Turkey continues to brutally suppress student protests and do battle against Kurdish armed forces based in Syria and Iraq and nominally allied with the United States and other NATO powers.
— Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, one of the wealthiest people in the world, has announced his intention to step down in the late summer, in order to focus on other projects — including manned space flight and his climate change initiatives. (We think he’s opposed. -Ed)
— Other Things Biden Did: Sent mixed signals on Yemeni War, at once ordering an end to arms shipments while simultaneously confirming the sales of anti-missile systems and other weapons platforms to Saudi Arabia. Countered Iran’s demand for a removal of sanctions with his own demand for a cessation of nuclear development. Ceased opposition to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as new leader for the World Trade Organization. Finished moving, using Air Force One instead of a buddy’s pickup truck.
— Things That Actually Didn’t Happen: AOC didn’t lie about her experiences on January 6th; contrary to many reports, she said she was scared by a cop rather than by rioters, and in her office, not the Capital proper. All of which did happen. Despite their delisting as terrorists, Houthi rebels have not yet stopped terror attacks against Yemeni civilians. Nine parents were not reunited with their children at the border after being separated by the Trump administration; that happened weeks ago by court order, and Biden had nothing to do with it. Myanmar did NOT use Dominion Voting Systems software; the election, while moderately corrupt (as usual) was legitimate. Trump is not at present being evicted from his permanent residence at Mar-A-Lago, where he is considered an employee, and thus is exempt from local housing ordinances. Biden was not sworn in on some sort of Masonic or Illuminati bible, but rather a family heirloom Douay-Rheims pulpit bible. (Confirmed by me personally, FYI; I’m a rare book expert. -Editor) Cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline was not a personal favor to Warren Buffet in exchange for campaign funds; Buffet, it turns out, didn’t donate to Biden. Instead it was a personal favor to the Teamster’s Union.
— This Just In: Donald Trump has signed a legal document, scheduled to be presented to the Senate today, in which he officially acknowledges the fact that he is not currently President of the United States as a part of his defense in his impeachment trial. This derails several fringe predictions about the eventual restoration of Trump’s political power. On an unrelated note, Epstein is still dead, but his estate continues to hire lawyers to defend itself in court.
And that’s all the news we’ve run across that’s worth writing about. (I know; neutral Sweden sent soldiers to Mali. There are only 150; I really can’t be bothered to care. -Editor) If you can think of something we missed that doesn’t have anything to do with sportsball, let us know in the comments.
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