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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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Saddam Hussein Steps Down Following Sex Scandal

BAGHDAD—Succumbing to public outcry and intense media scrutiny over his alleged March 1996 sexual liaison with a Presidential Palace concubine, embattled Iraqi president Saddam Hussein resigned Monday.

Iraqi reporters deluge Saddam Hussein with questions about his alleged 1996 sexual tryst with a 22-year-old Presidential Palace concubine (left).

"President Hussein has finally done the right thing," said Special Inquisitor and Most-Holy Scholar Of The Koran Fayd al-Khurmah, who doggedly pursued the president for nearly 27 months. "It is my sincere hope that this episode has at last been brought to a close, and that the nation of Iraq can move forward."

22-year-old Presidential Palace concubine

According to sources close to Hussein, the final straw came on July 30, when al-Khurmah struck an immunity deal with the 22-year-old concubine in exchange for her testimony against the Iraqi ruler. The concubine—who remains unnamed because of fundamentalist doctrine stipulating that convicted harlots be referred to as "She-Who-Cannot-Be-Named"—agreed to provide al-Khurmah with a full account of Hussein's alleged sexual misconduct. She also agreed to hand over to prosecutors the infamous "Love Veil," a black, woolen facial covering Hussein allegedly removed to gaze upon her exposed hair, facial features and upper neck.
Under the terms of the concubine's deal with the Special Inquisitor's office, in exchange for her testimony, she will be spared execution for harlotry by public stoning.

Hussein, who maintains his innocence, issued his brief statement of resignation on Iraqi television.

"My fellow Iraqis," Hussein said, "while I very much would like to continue to govern this nation, I can no longer do so effectively while faced with this distracting investigation and constant hounding by the Iraqi media. In light of this, I believe it is in the best interests of Iraq that I step down as your president."

For more than a year, Hussein struggled to preserve his government's totalitarian reign of terror while the scandal deepened. Though he originally attempted to downplay the al-Khurmah probe, dismissing the sexual-misconduct charges as "satanic, infidel lies" and telling reporters, "I need to get back to the serious business of slaughtering thousands of Kurds," the investigation and accompanying media frenzy ultimately proved too much for the president.

On July 8, Hussein admitted to investigators that he helped the concubine land a position in Iraqi deputy minister of finance Mustafa Aziz's harem in the remote desert city of Mosul, but he insisted he only did so as "a favor to a friend."

A portion of the transcript of a taped conversation that Special Inquisitor Fayd al-Khurmah alleges took place March 11, 1996, between Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and a 22-year-old Presidential Palace concubine.

Among the numerous charges Hussein has denied: that he had improper sexual relations with the concubine and urged her to lie about it under oath; that he gave her numerous gifts, including a personally autographed copy of The Koran, a 14th-century Moorish sword, and the left ear of longtime opposition-party leader Khusuf al-Birjand; and that he proclaimed a fatweh, or death sentence, against al-Khurmah.

Iraqi public opinion of the Hussein scandal has been deeply divided.

"If Saddam Hussein did indeed have improper relations, is this the sort of man we want leading Iraq?" said Samarra-area fig vendor Anah Saddiq. "It is important for me to feel that I can trust my president."

"What does it matter if President Hussein lifted a woman's veil?" countered Abdul Kifri, a Ba'qubah rice farmer. "The important thing is that he is doing a good job leading Iraq. As long as unemployment is low, crime is down, and the weapons-inspecting U.N. infidel pig dogs are kept away from our secret underground chemical-weapons plants, who cares what the president does in his private life?"

Hussein, who officially left office Tuesday, said he plans to take a year off and then rejoin the Baghdad law firm of Basrah, Abdanan & al-Qayyarah, where he was a senior partner from 1966 to 1972.

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