Palestine Appoints New Minister Of Rubble And Urban Development

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Vol 39 Issue 45

House Of Representatives Magically Switches Bodies With Senate

WASHINGTON, DC—Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives were magically transposed Tuesday, in an event Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist described as "freaky." "Sen. [Orrin] Hatch [R-UT] had just introduced S.J. Res. 15 when, all of a sudden, we found ourselves in these huge chambers with all these extra seats around us," Frist said. "I looked down, and there in my hand was a copy of H.R. 2799, but I had no idea how to go about defending its contents." Members of both congressional bodies proceeded to learn valuable lessons about one another's perspectives on the legislative process.

Enraged Man Unable To Break TV

SHREVEPORT, LA—Enraged after seeing his ex-wife in a local commercial, area resident Bill Schwartz, 48, threw a potentially destructive tantrum Monday, but was unable to smash the screen of his 42-inch high-definition television. "If that television were less durable, there would be no doubt as to just how upset I am right now," Schwartz said after launching two shoes and a telephone at the screen. "Damn it." Schwartz then made a final charge at the television before collapsing dejectedly into a recliner.

22-Year-Old Fuck Complains Of Age Discrimination

SAN MIGUEL, CA—Passed over for a promotion at Barton Financial Services, little 22-year-old fuck Darren Meeker filed a lawsuit against the company Monday, claiming to be a victim of age discrimination. "Just because someone has 20 years of experience, that doesn't automatically make him more qualified than my client," said attorney Martin Lippman, who represents the whiny shit. "In his first seven months on the job, Mr. Meeker has more than proven his potential." The little prick was unavailable for comment.

African Leaders Still Treating Clinton As President

NAIROBI, KENYA—Kenyan President Emilio Mwai Kibaki said Monday that his country continues to enjoy excellent diplomatic relations with former U.S. President Bill Clinton. "I have always enjoyed working with Mr. Clinton, and the recent international Agricultural Development Conference was no exception," Kibaki said. "And I know that [Democratic Republic of the Congo President] Joseph Kabila enjoyed meeting with him to secure an American commitment for humanitarian aid, as well." Kibaki said that none of the leaders have anything in particular against President Bush, but added that all the same, they'd rather stick with Clinton.

Sorta-Attractive Girl Half-Heartedly Hit On

COOL SPRINGS, TN—During a weekend house party characterized as "okay," paint-store employee Peter Elsing, 24, mustered up just enough interest to hit on Theresa Scobel, a sort of good-looking Vanderbilt graduate student, Elsing said Monday.

Ghosts Of Situations Past

If you Jeanketeers think I sit on a chaise lounge eating bonbons all day, you'll be surprised to learn that I applied for, and got, a part-time job at Kinko's. See, I thought working at Kinko's would be easy. The only other time I'd been there, to photocopy a disintegrating old column by Ann Landers (R.I.P.), it was late at night, and the clerk on duty was reading a skateboarding magazine. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening! That place gets swamped!

Immigrant Workers Vs. Wal-Mart

Hundreds of undocumented immigrants have filed a discrimination and exploitation lawsuit against Wal-Mart. What are the workers' complaints?

Speeding Up Iraqi Self-Rule

The Bush Administration announced that it hopes to speed up the transition to self-government in Iraq. What do you think?
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Business

Palestine Appoints New Minister Of Rubble And Urban Development

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK—After weeks of political infighting, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia announced the appointment of Hassan Al-Katif as the region's new Minister of Rubble and Urban Development Tuesday.

Arafat congratulates Al-Katif amid a prime patch of rubble.

"It is a great honor for me to name a man as experienced as Mr. Al-Katif to this post," Qureia said at a press conference held on top of a pile of rocks that was formerly a local mosque. "Palestine is in need of a strong leader to spark growth in urban areas and manage our burgeoning rubble sector, which is the fastest growing in the world."

The appointment came after several weeks of discord between Qureia and Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat over who should replace the region's 30-day emergency rubble minister. Al-Katif was strongly backed by Arafat.

"Having worked in the private sector as a rubble developer and organizer, Mr. Al-Katif understands Palestine's rubble situation," Arafat said. "He has a strong plan that charts a path to capitalization on our vast and ever-increasing supply of rock fragments and crumbled masonry."

Continued Arafat: "Palestinians need a man of Mr. Al-Katif's unequaled vision. In the coming years, he will oversee the construction of many wonderful new schools, courthouses, banks, and monuments. He will then truck away the remains of those buildings and monuments when they're reduced to gravel and dust."

Arafat said Al-Katif has great plans for "the West Bank's most abundant resource."

"We have chosen a man who not only accepts the reality of continued rubble creation for the foreseeable future, but also embraces it," Arafat said. "I see the Palestinian people forever rich in rubble. We must utilize our extensive rubble resources to rebuild and re-rebuild Palestine."

Al-Katif took the podium and briefly outlined his plans for the region.

The Ministry of Rubble and Urban Development, located in a bustling rubble district in Ramallah.

"The ministry will provide universal access to potable water, electric and sewage-treatment facilities, and adequate housing," Al-Katif said. "We will also move many huge piles of brick, garbage, dirt, and broken glass."

Al-Katif then took a moment to memorialize Amir Al-Lozari, the former RUD Minister. Al-Lozari was killed in what Israeli occupation forces characterized as an "accidental burst of gunfire," while surveying a new rubble development on the former site of the 1,400-year-old Abu Al-Sharim library.

"Amir was more than a boss to me—he was a friend," Al-Katif said. "He was a visionary, an important contributor to rubble theory, and a brilliant pragmatist when it came to the urban development of Palestinian lands. We will miss Amir, but we will remember him by continuing the great work he started."

Al-Katif responded to a reporter who suggested that his plan focused more on rubble than on urban development.

"These are two sides of the same coin," Al-Katif said. "Today's development is tomorrow's pile of rubble, and today's pile of rubble is tomorrow's makeshift shelter for a displaced family. It is all part of the same cycle."

Some have expressed reservations about Al-Katif's appointment, citing his early career as a building owner and landlord as a possible conflict of interest.

"Hassan Al-Katif owns, or has a financial interest in, more than 20 separate piles of rubble," said community organizer Saadiqa Muhammad. "Can we expect him to make impartial judgments about zoning and public-rubble works, given that he has a personal stake in rubble sites all over the region?"

Al-Katif insisted that his interests lie with the people.

"For too long, rubble has been viewed as the sole property of the government," Al-Katif said. "RUD needs to make affordable rubble available to all, and to provide the economic incentive for personal and private development of Palestine's many massive piles of rocks and debris. The opportunity is there, if someone takes the initiative and stacks the rubble neatly."

One of Al-Katif's first initiatives will be aimed at a segment of the population often ignored by RUD: the youth.

"In spite of tough economic times, more and more young people are becoming rubble-owners. Take, for example, 16-year-old Dinuk Wijurnai, who recently returned to his neighborhood and found himself sole owner of the pile of rubble that was once his family home," Al-Katif said. "The future of this country is in the hands, and under the feet, of children like Dinuk."

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