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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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Chinese Citizens Kind Of Grateful To Not Have Access To All Of Internet

Chinese residents say it’s almost certainly in their best interest that the government limits their access to viral video aggregators and shareable images featuring inspirational quotes.
Chinese residents say it’s almost certainly in their best interest that the government limits their access to viral video aggregators and shareable images featuring inspirational quotes.

BEIJING—Asserting that their government’s policy of strict censorship was not completely detrimental, China’s 1.4 billion citizens admitted this week that they are actually kind of grateful to not have access to the entire internet.

Members of the Chinese populace pointed to endless social media updates, native advertising disguised as legitimate editorial content, and sound-producing banner ads as just a few features of the internet that they don’t particularly mind having blocked, with citizens telling reporters that, all things considered, the regulations that wall off the bulk of the world wide web have actually proven beneficial to their lives.

“When you consider exactly what the government is preventing us from accessing, you realize that this type of censorship has some real positive value,” said Beijing resident Ha Jin, noting that while the Ministry of State Security severely limits the political and cultural information available to them, this same agency also thankfully prohibits China’s internet users from ever reading an article containing several endlessly looping GIFs of sitcom actors rolling their eyes or giving each other high-fives. “Sure, our government is so repressive that we’re only allowed to view websites that adhere to Communist Party principles. But that also means we don’t see overfiltered photos of food truck tacos or videos of high school students asking celebrities to accompany them to prom, and we never will.”

“Truth be told, I can live with that,” he continued.

According to a nationwide poll, 73 percent of China’s population favors the government’s policy of blocking certain words and images it considers subversive from appearing in citizens’ search engine results, noting that the banned material could potentially include any number of meme photographs featuring user-generated text or listicles of ugly holiday sweaters.

An additional 85 percent of respondents voiced their support of the Communist Party’s efforts to curtail access to most social media sites, explaining that, while such regulations could be considered overly broad and heavy-handed, this censorship at least ensures citizens don’t ever log into their online account to find numerous invitations to play Bubble Witch Saga.

Furthermore, a full 98 percent of the Chinese people stated that the Golden Shield Project firewall that blacks out a significant portion of web content originating from outside China “isn’t all that bad,” as it effectively filters out all television show recaps, online poker games, crowdfunding campaigns for friends’ indie long-form documentary projects, Twitter, and racially charged discussion threads beneath webcam videos, sports articles, and billions of other pieces of online content.

“I really don’t want any of those capabilities if it would mean I’d regularly have to sit through a 30-second laundry detergent commercial in order to watch some office’s poorly filmed parody of Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ music video.”

“Our government scrubs the internet of everything it considers remotely objectionable, and when I stop to really consider what that means, I’m perfectly fine with it,” said Shenzhen resident Bao Ling, whose online activity is heavily monitored by her nation’s cybersecurity analysts, and who has not once been invited by a microwave popcorn company’s pop-up ad to “join the conversation” about their brand. “Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have unrestricted use of email and be able to read a pro-democracy blog without one of our state-controlled internet service providers immediately taking it offline. But that would also mean sifting through countless spam messages advertising work-from-home opportunities and navigating vast scrollable catalogues of celebrity nip slips. That’s not a trade-off I want to make.”

Additionally, numerous citizens expressed their gratitude that Chinese authorities systematically prevent them from accessing Western news websites, noting that the same media outlets that might reference the Tiananmen Square massacre or the recent protests in Hong Kong would likely also include in-depth coverage of the latest viral wedding proposal video and mid-level celebrities’ recent style makeovers.

In fact, many of the Chinese citizens surveyed expressed sympathy for people in other countries who were exposed to the entirety of the internet without constraint, particularly the residents of the United States and other Western nations who must routinely contend with 3,000-word thinkpieces about superhero movies, blurry concert footage recorded on a cell phone, and online comments consisting largely of the phrase “butthurt” on a daily basis.

“When you consider what full access to the internet would really entail, we’re actually sort of lucky that our government does everything possible to keep us in the dark,” Bao said. “Of course, having unfettered freedom of expression and the ability to utilize online resources to collaborate with others on a large scale would be incredible, but I really don’t want any of those capabilities if it would mean I’d regularly have to sit through a 30-second laundry detergent commercial in order to watch some office’s poorly filmed parody of Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ music video, or have a complete stranger repeatedly belittle my figure and threaten my family on an online message board. It’s just not worth it.”

Added Bao, “To be perfectly honest, when I think about how I’d actually like to be spending my time, I think the government could stand to crack down on our internet access a little more.”

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