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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 Employers To Grant 15-Minute Maternity Break

DONGGUAN, CHINA—In response to international criticism of Chinese workplace inequity and labor rights, China's National Labor Committee agreed Monday to establish an unpaid 15-minute break during the regular 18-hour workday, to allow pregnant women to "expel the child from their body, adjust to being a new parent, wash their hands, and return to work."

Workers silently celebrate the new guidelines during a company-sanctioned "moment of appreciation."

"During the last moments of childbirth, a female employee's productivity diminishes sharply," said Shanghai toy-factory owner Huang Wei, who noted that even the slightest whimper of pain or sight of a newborn's head as it crowns can distract an entire assembly line from the job at hand. "These women need a few minutes to rest and recuperate before returning to sew eyes onto stuffed animals in an efficient and satisfactory manner."

"Of course, this measure wouldn't need to be taken at all if pregnant workers could schedule their due dates for the annual holiday of May 1," Huang added.

When her contractions are coming at such short intervals that she is physically unable to attach a Barbie head, the female worker must report to the factory's lone bathroom stall, located four flights up from the assembly line. Once there, she is instructed to deliver the child within five minutes, which allows her sufficient time to get hosed down with hot water and mop up the surrounding area so that others do not slip in the afterbirth.

To prevent abuse of privileges, this 15-minute period also incorporates the one weekly bathroom break all workers are allotted.

Initial response among female workers has been positive, with most women preferring the new rule over the old one, which stipulated that the newborn child must remain where it lands on the floor until the woman's shift ends.

"Even though this maternity break means I will lose three of my 12 cents for that hour, it will be worth it just to hold my baby in my arms for a few precious seconds," said pregnant seamstress Yuen Yin, 19, just after her factory's quitting whistle blew at 2:47 a.m.

Despite the new, broadened time allotment, expectant employees are encouraged to speed the birthing process by breaking the amniotic-sac membranes themselves. The expectant mother will be responsible for thoroughly sanitizing every affected area, and will also be discouraged from using factory instruments such as tongs to facilitate the birthing process, unless it is the only means through which she can remove the baby before the allotted 15 minutes elapse. The new mother would then be docked three days' pay to replace the implement.

The Labor Committee also instituted an incentive plan granting a 40-cent bonus to any employee expecting a daughter who opts to use her 15 minutes to receive an abortion in the factory's storage closet.

Songgang shoe-factory owner Xiao Jianqi said he had considered adopting some of Micronesia's more liberal maternity policies, including an additional three minutes off for twins, 35 "personal minutes" for the child's first year, and a towel to wrap the infant in. But he decided that the new regulations were enough, and he did not want to give female workers more reason to agitate.

"If these Chinese employees' work ethic is any indication, I strongly believe these maternity breaks will go quickly and smoothly for the mother and the child, and that once the 15 minutes are up, both of them will return to the assembly line to continue working," Xiao added.

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