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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TOKYO—Saying the outdated system needed to be upgraded or replaced to avoid similar problems going forward, millions of inconvenienced Japanese warp commuters expressed frustration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.

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

VATICAN CITY—After pulling a probe thermometer from its thigh and tasting a piece of crispy golden-brown skin, Pope Francis began carving a slow-roasted 18-pound cherub for the Vatican’s annual Christmas feast, sources within the Holy See reported Sunday.

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.
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Iraq War No Longer Interesting Enough To Make List Of Year’s Top Stories

Some soldiers stand around barely making news.
Some soldiers stand around barely making news.

CAMP FALLUJAH, IRAQ—Once widely acknowledged as the most crucial and compelling news story in the world, the U.S. military occupation of Iraq was, for the first time in the conflict's five-year history, deemed too uninteresting to be considered among 2007's most important news events.

According to polls, the war, which claimed American and Iraqi lives at a record rate throughout the past year, had simply grown too repetitive to warrant more than a passing recognition. For 57 consecutive months, viewers across the country were subjected to monotonous and tedious roadside bombings, predictable charges of corruption and negligence against private contractors, and a chaotic, hard-to-understand political situation that never seemed to change.

"Is that still going on?" 46-year-old Dayton, OH resident Jim Svaboda asked about the war, which many were told would be ending as early as May 2003. "Absolutely nothing new has happened over there in months. Even the soldiers are tired of it."

In September, a massive march against the war drew hundreds of thousands of protesters to the nation's capital, but failed to capture the attention of most major news outlets. And despite the insistence of a number of observers and political analysts that the war in Iraq was actually getting better, viewers continued to turn away by the millions.

"The average consumer can only read so many articles about 18-month redeployments that keep soldiers away from their families for years, or the lack of decent body armor, before they just tune out completely," said Kris Duncan, professor of media studies at Brandeis University. "That kind of thing might have seemed fresh two years ago, but people today want something unexpected. Frankly, if I have to watch one more clip of amputee footage from Iraq, I'm going to be sick."

Political blogger Janet Friedberg, of HotUpdateNow.com, agreed.

"The Iraq war is so over," Friedberg said. "Even if it goes on for another 10 years."

Some Washington-based supporters of the war said they were confident they could regain public interest in 2008 by pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the conflict.

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