The Not Fake News Update, 23 July 2021

Dateline: On Vacation

Even while having endless fun in the sun, our tireless staff has managed to come up with enough meaningful news that’s fit to print for us to run another Update. If you’ve been getting your information from the headlines on Twitter and the Top Ten Trending List, some of this might be new to you. If you’ve been relying on major media, rather more might.

So sit back, relax, and make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in the fully upright and locked position. Here goes!

– Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen announced today that “No one wants a civil war in Afghanistan.” PolitiFact and Snopes have each rated this as True, since it’s quite evident their intention is to control the country unopposed.

– United States, China, Hong Kong, sanctions, reprisal, blah blah blah. We aren’t even going to pretend that this is news, much less important.

– Japan, Olympics. If you’re interested, we’re sure you can catch it on television.

– Tajikistan has called up 130,000 reservists, more than doubling its standing army, for what has been described as its largest training exercise ever. Government officials have announced that this is in response to increased Taliban activity in neighboring Afghanistan.

– Freeman Mbowe and fifteen members of his “Chadema” party were arrested and charged with terrorism by the Tanzanian government. Mbowe has been an outspoken critic of the government for decades and a primary organizer of opposition politics, as well as serving as one of the elected members of the National Assembly. Amnesty International has condemned the charges; meanwhile, a statement from Biden’s State Department has referred to the incident as “concerning”.

– Wally Funk, one of the famed Mercury 13, has finally made it into space at the age of 82. The Mercury 13 were a group of female astronaut trainees who underwent advanced testing for the space program in the early 1960s. She paid for her ticket out-of-pocket. Oh, and something about Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, but I can’t be bothered.

– Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia have announced their joint intentions to pursue closer relations with the European Union, effectively a snub to neighboring powerhouse Russia, which has invaded each of the foregoing nations at least twice in the past decade. The European Union has not responded, under the pretense that they have a headache. Lithuania has taken advantage of the headache status to formally recognize Taiwan.

– Project: Pegasus, assembled by a consortium of freelance journalists, has published reports linking the private Israeli espionage corporation NSO Group with targeted spyware found on the telephones of journalists and opposition politicians around the globe. Included in the list of confirmed targets was assassinated journalist Jamal Kashoggi. NSO Group has made no comment on the report, and definitely doesn’t have an operative standing right behind me at this very moment prompting me to call the whole thing silly.

– Yet another heat dome event is predicted to cause another heat wave across the United States, this time including much of the South that had, until now, been experiencing a relatively cool summer. Three digit temperatures are projected over the course of the next week. “Thank God we didn’t adopt Celsius!” said one unnamed Texas politician.

– Ten people, including a Cardinal, have been indicted on charges of corruption, embezzlement, and money laundering by a court in the Holy See. “Vow of poverty my ***,” is a quote that Pope Francis reportedly didn’t say in his personal endorsement of the charges.

– Gunfire reportedly erupted at the funeral for assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, who was killed two weeks ago, apparently by a group of freelance amateur bodyguards and security specialists recruited in Florida. Spokesmen for the U.S. Department of State were reportedly “shocked to find that gambling is going on in here” and has ordered the country to be closed while the usual suspects are rounded up.

– Lithuania has begun construction of a massive border fence with neighbor Belarus, following accusations against that country for maliciously expelling foreign refugees over their border. Belarus, meanwhile, has chosen to pick a war of words with Israel, claiming that the world bows to them from false guilt over the Holocaust. Iran, the last country to insult Israel, is presently undergoing its worst drought in 50 years. While there’s no proof the Mossad has anything to do with the drought, there’s no proof they don’t.

– A four-day gun battle erupted in the streets of Caracas, Venezuela between security forces and ostensibly pro-government gangs. Snipers may still be active in the city. The U.S State Department has issued a statement of “It’s Not Our Problem”.

– France has fined Google a record €500M for breaching an anti-monopoly agreement to negotiate in good faith with publishers and content producers for the use of copyrighted materials. In response, Google shrugged and continued to rake in record profits.

– The Hubble Telescope has been successfully brought back online after a software glitch. Reports that the decades-old installation was running Windows Vista at the time of the crash remain unconfirmed.

– THIS JUST IN: Epstein is still dead, and nobody has yet been credibly accused, much less charged, in his death. I mention this only in passing, and not with any surprise or desire to intimate that it’s newsworthy.

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print, plus some that isn’t, here on the verge of the Third COVID Spike in the Second Year of the Pandemic Lockdown. Reporting from the beach, The Not Fake News Crew hereby raises a toast to your health and happiness.

Yes, I know I’m on vacation. Things don’t stop happening just because I’m near the beach. PS: Vacations are actually more expensive than normal time, so feel free to make a PayPal donation, or click the button below to Buy Us A Coffee Mojito!

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