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U.N. Evicted From Headquarters

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How Obamacare Can Be Improved

With Aetna just the latest health insurance provider to opt out of covering Obamacare markets, many are wondering what changes can make the Affordable Care Act more appealing to customers and insurance companies. Here are some proposed improvements

NSA: ‘Can Somebody Good At Computers Help Us?’

FORT MEADE, MD—Explaining that things weren’t working right and he didn’t know why, visibly frustrated National Security Agency director Michael S. Rogers called a press conference Thursday afternoon to ask if somebody good at computers could help out the intelligence organization.

Secretary Of Interior Unveils Plans For New High-Speed Creek

WASHINGTON—Calling the $650 million project the “future of America’s pastoral waterways,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell unveiled the agency’s plans for a new high-speed creek Thursday that would reportedly connect Weybridge, VT with the adjacent town of Addison.

The Pros And Cons Of Affirmative Action

The Supreme Court upheld a challenge to the University of Texas at Austin’s affirmative action program Thursday, reigniting debate over the merits of policies that favor members of groups frequently targeted by discrimination. Here are the pros and cons of affirmative action

47 Weak-Willed Senators Bend To Interests Of Powerful American People

WASHINGTON—Saying the closely watched Senate vote clearly demonstrated where the elected officials’ loyalties lay, political observers confirmed that 47 weak-willed lawmakers bent to the interests of the powerful American public Monday by voting in favor of measures that would bar anyone on government terror watchlists from purchasing firearms.

John Kerry Jettisons Russian Henchmen From International Space Station Airlock

LOW EARTH ORBIT—Having stowed away aboard a Soyuz resupply rocket and silently slipped into the International Space Station as part of a high-level fact-finding mission, Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly found himself forced to jettison two Russian henchmen from an airlock Monday after being set upon by the thugs in an ambush that resulted in a violent zero-gravity struggle to the death.

CDC Horrified After Discovering Existence Of Thousands Of Public Pools

WASHINGTON—Calling the finding an imminent threat to public health nationwide, horrified officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened an emergency press conference Wednesday to announce they had discovered the existence of thousands of public pools throughout the country.

Obama Discovers Telepathic Connection With Military Drone In Afghanistan

‘Our Minds Have Become One,’ Shaken President Says

WASHINGTON—Appearing frightened and confused by his unexplained new powers, President Barack Obama reportedly pulled members of the White House staff aside Wednesday to inform them of his recently discovered telepathic connection with an Afghanistan-based military drone.

The TSA’s Plans For Improvement

The Transportation Security Administration has pledged to revamp its processes in response to recent record-setting airport lines and wait times. Here are some ways in which the TSA plans to improve

EPA Urges Flint Residents To Stop Dumping Tap Water Down Drain

FLINT, MI—Citing the significant health and safety risks that it poses to public infrastructure and the local ecosystem, the Environmental Protection Agency released a statement Thursday urging residents of Flint to discontinue dumping tap water down their drains.

Upcoming Changes To U.S. Currency

Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew recently announced a series of significant changes to U.S. currency. Here are some of the more notable alterations on the horizon

Head Of IRS Has Personal Filing System To Keep Track Of Nation’s Tax Returns

Commissioner’s Office Cluttered With 100 Million Folders

WASHINGTON—Pointing out the towering stacks of manila folders cluttering his desk and stepping carefully around the millions of forms laid out on his office floor, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service John Koskinen showed reporters Thursday his own personal filing system for keeping track of everyone in the nation’s tax returns.

Pentagon Holds Gala To Celebrate 25 Years Of Bombing Iraq

WASHINGTON—Bringing together the many civilian leaders and military strategists who helped them reach such a historic milestone, Pentagon officials held a lavish black-tie gala Sunday at which, sources said, they commemorated 25 years of the United States bombing Iraq.

How Firearm Background Checks Work

With gun violence in the United States rising to unprecedented levels, many lawmakers have pushed to expand federal background checks for the purchase of firearms. Here’s how background checks are currently conducted

How Refugees Are Admitted Into The U.S.

The United States’ effort to accept Syrian refugees seeking asylum has been the subject of much controversy over security concerns and the rigor of the vetting process. Here are the steps involved in a refugee’s arrival in America

City Adds Some Big Concrete Stairs

They’re For Sitting On Or Running Up Or Something

CHICAGO—Noting the structure’s considerable size and prominent location in a busy public park, local residents confirmed Tuesday that the city had installed some big concrete stairs that were probably for sitting on or running up or something like that.

How To Reform The Nation’s Prison System

With pressing issues such as overcrowding, overuse of solitary confinement, and the long-term incarceration of nonviolent offenders, many critics of the nation’s prison system are calling for sweeping reforms. Here are some of the proposals to improve the prison system:

NASA Deploys Congressional Rover To Search For Funding

WASHINGTON—Calling the program “the most crucial in the agency’s history,” researchers at NASA announced Wednesday they have successfully deployed a Special Exploratory Rover to Congress as part of an open-ended mission to seek out any possible trace of funding on Capitol Hill.

Is The Nation Ready For The Next Katrina?

Friday marks the 10-year anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, and many commentators have argued that not enough has been done over the past decade to address infrastructure and emergency response issues that could put coastal cities nationwide, including New Orleans, at risk of a catastrophe on a similar scale. Is the nation prepared for another Katrina?

Biden Offers Government Post To Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark

WASHINGTON—Calling the late-night horror film host well-suited for the job “and then some,” Vice President Joe Biden offered Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, an entry-level position within the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, White House sources confirmed Thursday.

Nicaraguan Diplomat Drops Deadly Spider Onto John Kerry’s Blanket

ISLA GRANDE DEL MAÍZ, NICARAGUA—Creeping stealthily into the bungalow where John Kerry lay sleeping after a trade summit Thursday, Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Santos López, illuminated only by a sliver of moon, reportedly slid open the lid of a small pine box and released a deadly Brazilian wandering spider onto the blanket of his American counterpart.

Resolute Congress Passes Second Amendment Again

WASHINGTON—Easily securing the requisite two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate, a resolute United States Congress responded to the ongoing national debate on gun rights Tuesday by passing the Second Amendment again.

What’s Next For U.S.-Cuban Relations

After 54 years of closure, the U.S. embassy in Havana and the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. each began flying their flags once more this week, a symbol of the restored diplomatic ties between the two nations. Here is what we can expect from the relationship going forward

Nation’s Homophobic Bigots Pack It In

‘Rules Are Rules,’ Say Those With Deeply Ingrained Prejudices

WASHINGTON—Following the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, the nation’s homophobic bigots reportedly conceded today that “rules are rules” and announced that they were going to pack it in.

Report Finds Drug Tunnels Most Intact Transport Infrastructure In U.S.

ARLINGTON, VA—Touting the extensive safety precautions, routine maintenance, and limited congestion, a report published Friday by the American Transportation Research Institute revealed that drug tunnels are now the most intact and reliable form of transport infrastructure in the United States.

Vilsack Stays Up All Night With Sick Corn Plant

WASHINGTON—Gently applying a cool cloth to the plant’s kernels as he cradled its frail stalk in his arms, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stayed up all night caring for a sick corn plant, sources close to the former Iowa governor confirmed Tuesday.
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Government

U.N. Evicted From Headquarters

'Disgusting' World Organization Illegally Housing 268 Feral Cats, Say City Officials

The U.N. General Assembly room, as it appeared when health officials entered the premises.
The U.N. General Assembly room, as it appeared when health officials entered the premises.

NEW YORK—Citing squalid conditions "unfit for human habitation," the New York City Department of Health confirmed Tuesday that the United Nations had been evicted from its Manhattan headquarters for numerous safety code violations, including harboring more than 250 feral cats.

"After entering the U.N. headquarters early Tuesday morning, we quickly determined that the property was unlivable by any reasonable sanitary standard," said city health official George Garcia, whose team inspected the dilapidated building following complaints from neighbors of an overwhelming foul odor and the constant noise of mewling cats. "The fecal ammonia content in the air was approaching toxic levels, and the staggering volume of cat excrement in the Security Council Chamber alone suggests the occupants had been housing these animals for over a decade."

City health officials say neighboring residents have asked them to do something about the run-down U.N. building for years.

"They'd blacked out all the windows with world flags, too, so I don't think they'd seen much natural light in a while," Garcia added.

Reports filed by the Health Department revealed that the building's corridors posed a significant fire hazard, having been cluttered with thousands of empty cat food tins, old telephone books, and piles of yellowing nuclear-disarmament resolutions dating back to the 1950s, all of which were heavily soiled with cat dander and urine.

City officials were also struggling to find shelters for dozens of filth-covered diplomats, many of whom could barely speak a word of English but appeared to have spent years amid the squalor.

"The delegations from all 192 nations had apparently been sleeping on a bunch of dirty mattresses strewn across the trash-covered atrium floor," social services worker Leah Immelman said. "It seems they'd been delivering emergency food rations to themselves for years, so there was really no need for them to ever leave the premises."

Though the building's electricity had been shut off last November, authorities discovered an extension cord running across the length of the property to the nearby Ford Foundation, from which U.N. officials were able to steal electricity to power several lamps, a single space heater, and a satellite uplink to Darfur.

Sources also confirmed reports that a morbidly obese Greek ambassador, who had been confined to his reclining chair since the Israel-Lebanon ceasefire vote of 2006, was removed from the premises by cutting a hole in the second story wall of his office.

Property owner Sal Fantuzzo said he had long questioned whether his tenants had productive livelihoods, since they had never managed to fully catch up on rent payments since the early 1990s, after their costly, failed campaign to stop the genocide in Bosnia.

"They were strange people, I can tell you that much," said the 58-year-old landlord, who claimed that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon never opened the door more than a crack when Fantuzzo stopped by, and always wore the same dirty robe and slippers regardless of the hour. "Ban would make up excuses why he couldn't let me inside. He'd say he was sick or he was in the middle of delicate sanction negotiations or some other thing."

"And I could hear those damn cats through the door, but he always insisted it was just the TV," Fantuzzo added.

For many who were appalled by the U.N.'s overgrown, refuse-strewn 18-acre grounds, news of the organization's eviction has come as a welcome surprise.

"I've been in the place before, and believe me, it is utterly disgusting," said Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose extended rant at U.N. headquarters in 2009 focused largely on the foulness of the building's restrooms. "When I have to attend, I always take a long shower immediately afterward to get that nauseating stench off me."

"They should really just tear the place down," Ahmadinejad added.

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