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BOSTON—Examining a wide variety of cross-cultural data, a Boston University study released Monday determined that other countries are weird.

Japanese Family Puts Aging Robot In Retirement Home

KYOTO, JAPAN—Saying the move to the assisted care facility was the right decision after so many years of operation, members of the Akiyama family finally put their aging robot in a retirement home, sources reported Friday.

North Korea Successfully Detonates Nuclear Scientist

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TOKYO—Saying the outdated system needed to be upgraded or replaced to avoid similar problems going forward, millions of inconvenienced Japanese warp commuters expressed frustration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.
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Hong Kong Leaders Make Desperate Plea To Jackie Chan

VICTORIA, HONG KONG—With Hong Kong set to revert to oppressive Chinese rule on July 1, leaders of the longtime British dependency turned Monday to the one man who can save them now: fellow countryman and martial-arts action hero Jackie Chan.

Jackie Chan, seen here clinging to a runaway hovercraft, has been implored by the people of his native Hong Kong to protect them from the ravages of the Chinese occupational government.

"Jackie! Help us or all is lost!" cried a delegation of top Hong Kong officials in a desperate plea to the world-renowned daredevil stuntman via Chan's secret-agent shortwave radio device.

"Only Jackie Chan can save Hong Kong! The other Hong Kong action greats run in fear! They are no match for the Mainland Chinese government's awesome strength!" said Hong Kong shipping magnate Zhou Li Ping. "John Woo, Chow Yun Fat, Ringo Lam--they have all fled to Hollywood, hiding like cowards!"

Unlike his colleagues, Chan has refused to flee Hong Kong, vowing to use all of his kung fu skill to defend his homeland from the approaching Chinese.

Also instrumental in the hero's decision to fight, sources say, is the fact that Chan's honor was once sullied many years ago when, as a young apprentice, he was stripped of his trousers and symbolically shamed by Chinese minister of Hong Kong affairs Ziang Do, the man now responsible for overseeing the transfer of control to China.

After defeating the young Chan in hand-to-hand combat, Ziang added insult to injury, burning Chan's pants in the campfire he was using to dry them and causing him a severe loss of face that he vowed to one day avenge.

"Jackie cannot rest until he has proven his honor by defeating the man who burned his pants and humiliated him," said Asian action-film expert John Erwood.

Upon receiving the distress signal from Hong Kong officials on his secret-agent radio, Chan leapt 30 feet into an open window, and proceeded to attack a 10,000-man division of China's vaunted Red Army, battling them with a variety of common household items, including refrigerator doors, a bicycle, a collapsing step ladder, paint buckets, a lawn chair and, at one point, a push broom, which he twirled on his feet to daze the soldiers.

Undaunted, Red Army officials pressed on, sending seemingly limitless numbers of additional attackers to replace those already defeated and attack Chan in the traditional Chinese "one-at-a-time" kung fu style.

A recently acquired, bootlegged, letterboxed videotape of the struggle shows that Chan was losing until pro-Chan spectators hurled him several bottles of particularly potent rice wine. He then hurriedly guzzled the bottles, maximizing the powers of his "drunken boxing" combat techniques.

"Jackie became him the unstoppable, then!" said one Hong Kong man who witnessed the fight, speaking to reporters via poorly translated subtitles. "The Red Army hurled on him backwards in to and a bed of hot coals! Yet he fought still bravely on with luck!"

In the past 48 hours, Chan has been hit approximately 17,000 times by flying feet, fists, and double-jointed, spinning back-flip head-butts. The media-dubbed "Supercop" has also fallen from an exploding helicopter into a frozen lake; jumped a sportscar onto a moving barge; battled an axe-wielding mob on stilts amidst rising flames; and wrestled a great white shark.

Following the string of seemingly impossible feats of physical prowess and bravery, Chan was humorously bonked on the head by his gruff but lovable uncle.

"Jackie Chan will protect us!" said Hong Kong exporter Liao Zemin, who fears he will lose millions of dollars under the coming Chinese system of strict economic control over private businesses. "Jackie Chan!"

Reports that Chan also survived a guest appearance with a group of "extreme dudes" in a recent carbonated-beverage ad could not be confirmed as of press time.

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