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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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U.S. Inspires World With Attempt At Democratic Election

NEW YORK—Observers from around the world report that they were inspired and moved by America's most recent attempt to hold a public election in accordance with the standards of a democratic republic.

Citizens vote in embattled Miami.

"After all of the recriminations, infighting, and general madness before the election, the people of this fractured nation still found the courage to show up at the polls," said Anas Salman, an Afghan U.N. official who was in New York during the American electoral experiment. "More than half of America's citizens—a large portion of them women—made a valiant attempt to choose their own leader, even though there was no guarantee their votes would be counted. It was truly inspirational."

In the weeks leading up to the election, both of America's political parties alleged fraud in voter registration. Additionally, experts debated the reliability of electronic voting machines, which experienced problems in trial runs and leave no paper trail. Election officials also bemoaned many states' use of outdated punchcard machines.

Considering such disputes, Salman said he was "touched and gladdened" that voter turnout for the U.S. election nearly approached voter-turnout rates for Afghanistan's first popular elections in October, when 69 percent of citizens cast ballots.

"True, voter turnout in many parts of the world tops 90 percent," Salman said. "But it's understandable that the rate is lower in countries such as Afghanistan, where the government has raised fears of possible terrorist attacks at the polls. Our people showed great courage."

The last American presidential election, held in 2000, was also rife with problems. Myriad scandals arose concerning alleged fraud and ballot tampering. Although the Democratic candidate won the popular vote by a margin of half a million votes, the Republican candidate won the presidency with a strenuously disputed 537-vote lead in Florida, a state governed by his brother.

"Despite the specter of corruption in 2000, and even though the procedural problems which surfaced during the previous election were never remedied, the American people chose to put their faith in the system once again this year," said Joseph Mtume, a Kenyan diplomat who traveled to Ohio to view America's democratic proceedings. "You can't help but feel touched by the determination of these citizens who put their doubts aside to collectively participate in the democratic process. All this in a nation divided by war, where dissent is widespread and the rift between citizens has rarely been higher. It was truly stirring."

Carlos Cruz, an Argentinian diplomat who observed the election in Miami, said he was profoundly moved by America's democratic election.

"With my own eyes, I saw people from all walks of life waiting in long lines to cast their votes, and very few of them were turned away," Cruz said. "They believed in the democratic process, despite the existence of racial gerrymandering of the sort most recently seen in the redistricting of U.S. House seats to negate the impact of Hispanic and black voters in Texas."

Cruz said he was impressed that average citizens still participate in the "current money-dominated electoral process," even though legislators have largely ignored their repeated calls for campaign finance reform.

"Their wide-eyed earnestness was humbling," Cruz said. "Truly, my heart leaps up. I can only hope that, under such demoralizing circumstances, my countrymen would similarly rise together to try and make democracy work."

The multinational watchdog group Organization for Security and Cooperation sent 600 official observers to monitor proceedings, from countries as disparate as North Korea, Syria, and China. Many reported that they came away deeply touched.

"To see a country with such overwhelming problems—problems that affect every last citizen—have so many of its voters feel that they can still influence their leadership... words fail me," said Dae Jung Kim, a North Korean OSC delegate. "Certainly, my report to my own government will emphasize this. I will recommend that my leaders implement such American election-time strategies and tactics as would fit the North Korean model of personal freedom, such as their elegant Electoral College and the inscrutable voting machine."

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