The second Hallowe’en under quarantine is approaching, and kids are still stuck uncostumed throughout most of the civilized world. Mischief Night will go mischiefless and All Souls Day will arrive virtually unheralded, all because we don’t want to actually join the celebratees on the Day of the Dead.
…Which, I suppose (regretfully) is reasonable. But I’m still annoyed.
For those of you who care about other things than Hallowe’en, you have my pity. Out of an overabundance, our loyal and hardworking staff has compiled headlines for yet another of our news digests so you don’t have to worry about missing anything important during all the hype surrounding the non-news on CNN. And for those of us mourning our beloved holiday, perhaps this will help serve as a welcome distraction.
– NYU has announced the first successful transplantation of a genetically modified pig kidney into a live human without rejection. The patient, who was brain-dead at the time of the surgery, showed every likelihood of remaining healthy (but dead) for the foreseeable future, and expects to vote Democrat in Chicago this November.
– In Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), protesting healthcare workers were fired on by government police, leaving dozens wounded. Schools have been closed in order to stem other pro-democracy protests, chiefly driven by student unrest. Eswatini is the last remaining absolute monarchy in Africa, and HIV/AIDS has become endemic; the median age is now 22, and a third of the country will die of AIDS within the next decade. Presumably, the populace is somewhat dissatisfied by the job their government has been doing.
– In Westminster, Ali Harbi Ali has been charged with the murder of M.P. David Amess and remanded to Belmarsh Prison pending trial. Amess was stabbed repeatedly at a constituency event, and his assailant, a 25-year-old British citizen of Somali descent, was apprehended at the scene. The attack has been classed as an Act Of Terror.
– The Supreme Court has announced that it will hear arguments in the Justice Department’s suit against Texas over the new anti-abortion law. The standing of Justice in this dispute is the major point at issue; Texas is arguing that the Federal government has no right to get involved in the case. The hearing will take place in early November, beginning on the 1st.
– A Haitian gang has kidnapped seventeen missionaries from the U.S. and Canada, and is threatening to kill them unless they’re paid a ransom amounting to a million dollars a head. In unrelated news, the USS Harry S. Truman (CV 75) has completed a group training exercise early off the coast of Virginia without issuing the customary press release. This exercise, known as a COMPTUEX, is performed routinely before any long-term deployment, along with support vessels and any accompanying Marine Expeditionary Units. Again, this is entirely unrelated in any way, shape, or form; we’re just mentioning it in passing.
– The Brazilian Senate released a report recommending the criminal prosecution of President Jair Bolsonaro for homicide over his handling of the COVID crisis. And here we thought American politics was cutthroat.
– Millions of Fallout players are preparing in advance of the anniversary tomorrow of Bombs Drop Day. The commemoration marks fifty-six years until the destruction of civilization as we know it in a global nuclear holocaust. Celebrations reportedly include remaining indoors, if possible in deep bunkers known as Vaults, until the devastation has passed — at least twenty-five years, not counting feral ghouls, super mutants, raiders, and any rampaging scorchbeasts.
– The F.B.I. has announced it has raided the Washington, D.C. mansion of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. A close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Deripaska was sanctioned by the Treasury Department under Trump in 2018. He’s presently under investigation for racketeering, money laundering, extortion, bribery, murder, and failure to file change-of-address forms.
– Global investment bank Credit Suisse has agreed to pay a fine of $475 million for cheating its customers — strike that; for being caught cheating its customers in a wire fraud scheme. This comes on top of $2.6 billion in cumulative fines paid for similar offenses committed during the years 2008 to 2012. Credit Suisse increases its assets annually by some tens of billions while somehow reporting a tax loss every single year, and yet people apparently keep doing business with them and mobs keep inexplicably not storming their buildings with torches and pitchforks. “It’s because we’re Swiss; people trust us,” said a person claiming to be a spokesman whose credentials we didn’t bother to check because, hey, he’s Swiss.
– California is apparently in the path of a bomb cyclone combined with other meteorological oddities that will, according to the National Weather Service, act rather like a fire hose. This is expected to generate massive blizzards in the Sierra Nevadas, flooding throughout most of the state, the customary mudslides, and will do nothing to ameliorate long-term drought conditions that began over a century ago when California turned its system of seasonal lakes and rivers into farmland which it irrigates with Colorado river water rather than their own. The current plan for California’s expected excess rainfall is to have it flow into the ocean rather than use it to refill Lake Mead because, apparently, California is “just so damn big”.
And that’s all the news that is news, plus some that’s not, here on the 22nd of October during the seventeenth month in COVID lockdown. Happy Hallowe’en! (P.S. If you can’t tell the difference between news and satire, you really shouldn’t be trusted alone with the remote. And that “red pill”, it turns out, is just colored gelatin.)
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