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Vatican Putting Out Feelers For How Public Would React To Another Children’s Crusade

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

BOGDARNYA, RUSSIA—Working frantically to gain access to the system’s override settings at the computer terminal controlling the impending implosion, Secretary of State John Kerry scrambled to stop the self-destruct sequence of an underground bunker located thousands of feet below the Russian countryside Tuesday while oligarch Dmitry Granovsky taunted him from the numerous banks of monitors positioned throughout the facility, sources confirmed.

Islamic Awakening Inspires Man To Defect From ISIS

MOSUL, IRAQ—Telling reporters he had renounced his role as a militant and would soon be relocating in order to seek out an environment more conducive to fully devoting himself to his newfound religious faith, 24-year-old Huzaifa Quraishi confirmed Tuesday his recent Islamic awakening had inspired him to defect from ISIS.

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.

A Primer On North Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains largely unknown to Americans due mainly to the secrecy and isolationism upheld by its government. The Onion provides a primer on North Korea’s people and culture

‘People Are Inherently Good,’ World Halfheartedly Mutters

NICE, FRANCE—Following yesterday’s terrorist attack in Nice, France that left over 80 people dead and scores more injured, sources reported that a dazed and utterly dejected global populace halfheartedly muttered the phrase “People are inherently good” to themselves Friday.

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.
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China Hosts Realistic-Looking Olympics

BEIJING—Long after the closing ceremonies of last August's XXIX Olympiad, participants and spectators from around the world were still talking about the incredibly lifelike, almost realistic atmosphere the nation of China was able to bring to the Games.

"From the opening ceremonies, which initially seemed to fill the sky with fireworks and gravity-defying acrobats, to the competitions themselves, which at first seemed to bring the entire world together in a spirit of brotherhood and friendly competition, the Games had me completely convinced," said Juan Antonio Samaranch, former president of the International Olympic Committee, who claimed he often forgot that what he was seeing wasn't real while attending the events. "I, of all people, should know better, but I freely admit that the nation of China pulled off a magnificent illusion."

The Beijing Olympics were watched, and most likely believed, by literally billions all over the globe. In the United States alone, Olympic broadcast partner NBC reported that the Games were watched by more than 200 million people in 83 percent of American households, with 97 percent of those viewers able to suspend disbelief and swallow the whole thing completely.

"I was absolutely taken in with the whole Beijing spectacle—the gala ceremonies, the swimmers breaking world records, those women sword-fighting. It had everything," said Olympic viewer Rick Thomason of St. Paul, MN. "Even that Michael Phelps guy—you knew there was no way such a person could really exist, but you wanted him to succeed every bit as much as if his actions were happening in the real world."

"You have to hand it to the Chinese—they thought of everything," said Anne Jefferson of Los Angeles, who found her skepticism dissolving as she watched the Games with friends. "I was absolutely certain that I was watching the world's top amateur athletes going head-to-head for the sheer love of competition, even while I watched the men's basketball medal round. I have no idea how they did that, but I bought it hook, line, and sinker."

Chinese Olympic officials are not revealing the secret of exactly how they pulled off such a massive fabrication or how they maintained their Olympic ruse throughout most of August. Even broadcast professionals, no strangers to the suspension of disbelief, admit they sometimes forgot that what they were seeing wasn't real.

"There were times I got completely caught up in it, I must admit," said Bob Costas, who hosted NBC's frontline Olympics show for the duration of the Games. "It was a fantastic job, all things considered, when you realize what China was up against. Think about it—they had to make people believe that a 10-year-old gymnast was actually a young woman. They had to make people believe that a Jamaican man could work hard and run fast, which frankly isn't something the average American is prepared to think. And they had to make people like swimming for almost two weeks. I still don't know how it was achieved."

"I guess I shouldn't be surprised," said Tim Layden, track and field reporter for Sports Illustrated. "What China did with the Olympics was impressive, to be sure. But it was nothing compared to making the world believe that Beijing is actually a clean, safe modern city, or that China is actually a fully functioning modern society with a vibrant and healthy culture, or that the whole thing wasn't a thinly veiled show of jingoistic nationalism nearly on par with the infamous Berlin Games. If they managed to do that, then I'm really impressed."

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