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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TOKYO—Saying the outdated system needed to be upgraded or replaced to avoid similar problems going forward, millions of inconvenienced Japanese warp commuters expressed frustration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.
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Saddam Speech Suspiciously Mentions Nelly Song From Last Summer

LANGLEY, VA—The CIA announced Monday that it suspects Saddam Hussein's latest televised address was pre-recorded, pointing to its suspiciously dated reference to Nelly's "Hot In Herre," a rap hit from the summer of 2002.

In a message believed to be pre-taped, Saddam warns the U.S. about rising heat levels in Iraq.

"For the enemy invaders of Iraq, it soon will get truly hot in here," Hussein said in the speech, which was televised worldwide Monday. "No amount of clothing removal will be sufficient to withstand the fiery inferno that awaits them on the battlefield."

Many U.S. officials have speculated that Saddam may have been killed or injured in the initial March 19 air attacks on Baghdad, suggesting that his subsequent televised speeches were recorded weeks or even months ago.

"The 'hot in here' line has definitely raised some eyebrows," CIA director George Tenet said. "However, this may not prove anything: Even though that song is nine months old, you still hear people referencing its chorus all the time. It's even in the new Chris Rock movie."

Despite the inconclusive nature of the Nelly reference, CIA analysts have found a number of other clues suggesting that the speech was not broadcast live.

"About three minutes into the speech, a man briefly walks across the screen with what appears to be a copy of Entertainment Weekly," Tenet said. "He opens the magazine and, for a split second, it's possible to faintly make out a full-page ad promoting the debut episode of The Rerun Show."

In addition to the visual evidence, Tenet cited certain tellingly dated passages from the speech.

"In one section, Saddam vowed that he would crush Bush 'like Kelly Clarkson crushing the inferior Nikki McKibbin,'" Tenet said. "He then went on to praise his elite Republican Guard, saying that they 'will leave the Americans as bewildered as Ozzy Osbourne trying to operate a television remote control.'"

The Saddam speech, CIA analysts noted, seems intentionally vague, conspicuously lacking in any specific details about the current conflict.

"Victory will soon be ours," a defiant Hussein said. "Unlike the [Major League Baseball] All-Star Game, this will not end in a tie."

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