The Not Fake News Update, 02 March 2021

Well, COVID is still raging, though there’s now a third vaccine approved in the US. Trump showed up at CPAC to wild applause, and whether or not that’s a Nazi rune on the floor, there was actually a golden Trump idol you could get a picture with. Oh, and we’ve got a couple new robots exploring Mars.

All this is true, and it’s news; so far so good. But if you think that’s all the news, you’ve got another think coming. Here’s just a few things that happened over the past couple of weeks that you might have missed.

— Protests and a general strike continue in Myanmar in the face of mass arrests, tear gas, and stun grenades; several have been killed by live rounds. This follows a military coup a month ago by military leaders, who have arrested and charged members of their government with what appear to be fairly minor crimes. Myanmar’s Ambassador to the United Nations is pleading for intervention, but none seems likely.

— Ken Paxton, the Attorney General of Texas, has filed suit against an electricity provider for extreme price gouging during the recent emergency in that state. Several customers of speculative provider Griddy have reported bills of $10,000 and more. Apparently, even in de-regulated Texas, this is against the law.

— The former president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, has been sentenced to three years imprisonment following his conviction on a corruption charge. It’s worthy of note that it’s not the corruption that is remarkable but rather the trial, conviction, and punishment.

— Following an alleged coup d’etat attempt, the Prime Minister of Armenia ordered the dismissal of the accused ringleader and chief of the General Staff — only to have the President refuse the order. Mass protests erupted against the Prime Minister, and civilian protesters have successfully stormed several government buildings. All this follows the unpopular peace treaty he signed with neighbor Azerbaijan, ceding a large amount of territory following a particularly one-sided defeat in a short war.

— Anti-government protests in Iraq turned violent as security forces fired into the crowds. Several have been reported killed and dozens have been wounded. Meanwhile, in Iran, whole regions are without internet following mass anti-government protests; sources on the ground are reporting heavy casualties, a shortage of medical care, and a strictly enforced lockdown.

— The Biden Administration has declassified an intelligence report which asserts that Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman knew about, and approved of, the assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Kashoggi. This was followed not by Biden keeping his promise to “make a pariah” of the Crown Prince but rather something called as a “diplomatic recalibration”. (Nobody seems to have any idea what that’s supposed to mean, which is probably exactly what it’s supposed to mean. -Editor)

— Houthi rebels in South Yemen are continuing their offensive against Ma’rib, a government stronghold, despite international protest. Iranian soldiers in the Houthi ranks have fired Iranian-made ballistic missiles both against Yemeni government targets and cities in Saudi Arabia, the which nation has also been condemned by many international observers for their role in the ongoing conflict. Presumably, condemning all sides will have the effect of reducing the amount of guilt felt by those nations who continue to sell weapons to combatants.

— Retaliating for a missile attack against American forces in Iraq, the Biden Administration has launched a missile strike against Iranian-backed Hezbollah forces operating in Syria, this while deploring the Saudi government’s attacks on Iranian-backed forces in Yemen.

— Venezuela has ordered the expulsion of the Ambassador from the European Union following a new round of E.U. sanctions over human rights abuses.

— Canada and Holland have formally recognized that the Chinese government is presently engaged in genocide against their Uighur minority, and have offered minor diplomatic snubs to encourage China to change their ways. Meanwhile, the Biden Administration has determined that what is happening in China is a matter of internal policy.

— Following the rescinding of American sanctions levied against Iran by the Biden Administration, the International Atomic Energy Agency announced a new agreement which would permit international monitoring of the Iranian nuclear program. Iran then announced that international monitors would no longer be allowed to inspect the nuclear program in Iran. Talks are expected to continue, accomplishing nothing whatsoever.

— Following Volvo’s announcement that they will be transitioning to an all-electric fleet by 2030, Elon Musk stunned the world by mentioning in passing that this and other similar moves would in fact increase the demand for electricity on international power grids, likely to a point beyond which they are presently designed to expand.

— Something that hasn’t gotten much press is that the city water supply in Jackson, Mississippi has been under a boil order for two weeks following several burst pipes during the same unusual freeze that messed up all of Texas. It’s not unusual for Jackson’s city water to be unreliable, particularly on the lower-rent south side. The city government is pleading poverty, and is providing bottled water to citizens while slowly fixing the burst mains. Presumably, this isn’t getting any press because it’s not a swing state.

— THIS JUST IN FROM SPAIN: Generalissimo Fernando Franco has had his last statue removed following his continuing to remain deceased. Any change in the Generalissimo’s status will be reported on by former members of our Trump Presidential Monitoring Staff, who still think Trump both is president now and will become the nineteenth president on the 4th of March as prescribed by parts of the Constitution that were replaced a century ago.

— Meanwhile, one Gregor Samsa woke up this morning to discover he had been transformed into a gigantic insect, but thanks to the COVID lockdown, this didn’t really impact his life much at all. Credit for this joke belongs to cartoonist Tom Gauld, who told it much better.

And that’s all the news that isn’t and some that is, here in lockdown on the second day of March, Year Two of COVID. If you can think of something we missed, please write it in pencil on the back of a $20 bill and send it to us here at The Not Fake News.

If you’re feeling rich and found this entertaining or informative, feel free to support us, or buy us a coffee. We can use the morale boost — and the caffeine.

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