The Not Fake News Update, 23 August 2022

The world continues ever chaotic, with wars, droughts, plagues, famines, earthquakes, and hurricanes galore. So it ever was, and so it shall be until time ends, or so we’ve been reliably informed.

Amid the never-ending cycle of disaster and in-depth reporting, it’s easy to miss the occasional item of import that happens while we’re foolishly paying attention to Donald Trump or some other headline-hogging unpleasantness. What’s worse, sometimes the things we miss are the positive ones; tragedy has a way of grabbing column inches, while triumph often falls below the fold. We at The Not Fake News have undertaken to help correct this tendency with our regular Updates.

And so, without further ado, here we go!

– In Singapore, the Prime Minister has announced that the government will repeal the colonial-era law criminalizing sex between men. That section of legal statutes hasn’t been enforced in fifteen years, and has never included females; critics have long said that it merely increases discrimination without serving any useful purpose. What supporters of the law have to say about its critics is unprintable, and would have been illegal under the old law in any case.

– The CEO of Israeli spyware maker NSO is stepping down to an unspecified role within the company’s structure amid a corporate reorganization. CEO Shalev Hulio, one of the company’s founders, has been the target of international criticism over NSO’s flagship product, Pegasus, which allows its users access to personal information stored on private cell phones. It’s uncertain what his new role will be going forward, but his cell phone allegedly reports his present location is on a private estate on the famously no-extradition island of Malta.

– The American military is returning in force to Somalia following a particularly deadly al-Shabbab attack on Mogadishu’s Hayat Hotel. Well over a hundred people were injured or killed in this, the first major Islamist terror attack in that country since the reaccession of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to the presidency after a five year absence. The Biden Administration has not confirmed the force increase, which was instead announced by Somali authorities following the 30-hour battle between law enforcement and militants on hotel grounds — the difference being that Somali politicians aren’t facing upcoming midterm elections.

– The United Kingdom has issued an emergency approval for the newly reformulated Moderna vaccine against COVID. The new version has been designed to be effective against the Omicron variants of the virus. Authorization in the United States is expected to happen within the first half of September, shortly after half the population will have caught it.

– A car bomb evidently intended for Putin ally Alexander Dugin killed his daughter, pro-Putin propagandist and website editor Darya Dugina, shortly after her departure from an event at which he had been speaking. The device has been described as a high-tech bomb, similar to several used for contract killings over the past few years. Russian government officials have assigned guilt to purported Ukrainian SBU intelligence agents; Ukraine has declined responsibility. Meanwhile, a regional director of the SBU was found dead of gunshot wounds in his apartment in an apparent suicide. No relationship between the events has been discovered, which conspiracy theorists on both sides found to be suspicious in itself.

– An independent special prosecutor has decided that charges will be dropped in the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta more than two years ago. Brooks, who was intoxicated, stole and fired a taser from one of the officers as he fled the scene; he was then shot twice in the back and killed. During the ensuing protests, the Wendy’s at which his shooting took place was torched and later demolished; no word yet on what’s to be torched and demolished tonight.

– UPDATE: A mass fish kill in the River Oder, running through Polish and German territory, has given a new depth of meaning to the waterway’s name. Speculation on the cause of the mass die-off has of late centered around a ubiquitous microorganism hitherto considered somewhat blameless; other potential causes, including manmade pesticides and chemical explosive residue from uncovered Nazi wrecks, have thus far been dismissed.

– BREAKING: Today marks the last big primary day before the November midterm elections, as New York, Florida, and Oklahoma select their party’s candidates in what promises to be the most contentious election contest in two years, and what’s likely to hold the record for another two. As with every election in recent memory, this one shows a nation that’s more divided than ever before, as the two major parties continue to race to the fringe in a contest to out-radical one another. If the trend continues, our computer models predict that by 2024, Democrats will mandate abortion for all fetuses while Republicans will instead demand the death penalty pre-birth for all future criminals, which will by then be everyone who breathes. And for some strange reason, Americans will continue to vote for them.

– THIS JUST IN: Epstein is still dead and only his partner has faced charges. No change is expected in either category, but if there is one, we’ll be sure and let you know.

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print plus some more that isn’t, just for fun. If there’s an item you think we missed, write it on the back of a $20 bill and bury it in a tin in your backyard, where our underground agents will soon find it and bring it to our attention.

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