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PYONGYANG—Hailing it as a significant step forward for their ballistic weapons program just hours after suffering a failed missile launch, North Korean leaders announced Monday they had successfully detonated a nuclear scientist.

Tokyo Portal Outage Delays Millions Of Japanese Warp Commuters

TOKYO—Saying the outdated system needed to be upgraded or replaced to avoid similar problems going forward, millions of inconvenienced Japanese warp commuters expressed frustration Thursday following a Tokyo portal outage that caused delays of up to eight seconds.

Earth Ranked Number One Party Planet

FRAMINGHAM, MA—Noting its high concentration of nightlife, droves of attractive singles, and atmospheric conditions allowing liquid alcohol to exist, the ‘Princeton Review’ on Monday ranked Earth the Milky Way galaxy’s top party planet for the fifth year in a row.

Nuclear Warhead Thrilled For Chance To Finally Escape North Korea

PYONGYANG—Saying its spirits were immediately buoyed upon hearing Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un’s recent statement that the military was close to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile, a North Korean nuclear warhead reported Tuesday that it was thrilled for the chance to finally escape the country.

Pope Francis Carves Roast Cherub For Vatican Christmas Dinner

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VATICAN CITY—Saying they had been giving some thought recently to the idea of sending legions of Christian boys and girls to retake the Holy Land and wanted to gauge the level of support, Vatican officials reportedly began putting out feelers Wednesday to determine how the public might react to another Children’s Crusade, much as was attempted in the year 1212.

John Kerry Scrambles To Stop Bunker’s Self-Destruct Sequence As Russian Oligarch Taunts Him From Bank Of Monitors

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Islamic Awakening Inspires Man To Defect From ISIS

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CIA Orchestrates Coup D’État To Replace Entire Population Of Venezuela

Agency Installs Pro-American Populace Of 30 Million Venezuelan Citizens

CARACAS, VENEZUELA—Sources are confirming that the Central Intelligence Agency has orchestrated a coup d’état in the South American nation of Venezuela, toppling the country’s 30 million residents and replacing them with an entirely new, pro-American populace.
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Al-Jazeera Introduces 'Lighter Side Of The News' Segment

DOHA, QATAR—With the stated intent of "turning current-events coverage on its head," the popular but oft-criticized Al-Jazeera Arab television news network launched its "Lighter Side Of The News" segment Monday.

Jalami reports on a badly bungled bombing.

"And now, we have something a little different for you," anchor Jihan Jalami said, turning from coverage of violence in Najaf.

"It seems a certain suicide bomber paid the price for his sloppy job Sunday, when he failed to annihilate a Jerusalem pizza parlor, and himself along with it. After numerous attempts to detonate the homemade device hidden under his shirt, the bomber gave up and ordered lunch! Can you imagine the relieved look on that restaurant owner's face?!"

Continued Jalami: "The blundering bomber was well into his third slice of pizza when responding Mossad agents killed him and wounded two bystanders in a hail of gunfire."

Al-Jazeera then resumed normal coverage, airing hard-line Islamic cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi's statement in response to air strikes on Afghanistan.

The Lighter Side, airing at the bottom of the hour during non-peak times, is already popular among viewers. Favorite segments so far include the story of a Ramallah teen who sat motionless in a freshly plowed pepper field for 10 days, believing himself to be in a minefield; that of a U.N.-sponsored airborne food-drop that leveled an entire Afghan village; and that of a large fig, produced on a farm outside Bahrain, which bears an uncanny resemblance to renegade Muslim cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr.

"I could not believe what I was seeing," Osiraq resident Akil Hamza said. "The fig looked just like him."

Al-Jazeera, a technologically savvy news organization that reports events in the Middle East from an Arab perspective, remains the only foreign station allowed in Afghanistan.

Station executives say the Lighter Side segments will help them broaden their audience.

"We have long been aware that our network isn't as well-regarded in the West as news outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News," said Wadah Khanfar, managing director of Al-Jazeera. "We were criticized for airing certain stories—the capture of U.S. soldiers by al-Qaeda, for instance, or the burning of the American embassy in Afghanistan. So we looked to see what sort of stories our American news counterparts were running in lieu of unpopular topical pieces."

Footage from Lighter Side segments titled "Time To Get A New House!" (left) and "Even Amputees Want To Kick The U.S. Troops Out!"

"This is what we came up with," Khanfar said, gesturing to a row of monitors displaying the humorous action at the State Fair of Jalalabad, where several residents who had lost their arms in the recent fighting engaged in a spirited samboosak-eating contest to benefit a local school.

"We've always prided ourselves on our diversity of opinion, as well as our real-time news coverage," senior news producer Sameer Hadi said. "But it doesn't hurt to report things that everyone can agree on. I think the story we're doing this evening will bring a smile to our viewers' faces. It is the story of Abdul Al-Sattar Hali, who recently won the $1 million Bahrain State Lottery, but was unable to collect, because he was in prison. Can you imagine?"

Al-Jazeera had also done a story concerning Hali in April, when scandal erupted after they aired photos of the blindfolded, nude pottery vendor being hosed down by American troops at Abu Ghraib.

More from this section

Earth Ranked Number One Party Planet

FRAMINGHAM, MA—Noting its high concentration of nightlife, droves of attractive singles, and atmospheric conditions allowing liquid alcohol to exist, the ‘Princeton Review’ on Monday ranked Earth the Milky Way galaxy’s top party planet for the fifth year in a row.

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