How Many Atrocities Does It Take To Get Into USA Today?

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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

Strategies To Defeat ISIS

Following last week’s deadly Paris attacks and numerous other violent incidents perpetrated by the terror group ISIS, many governments and populations worldwide are wondering how we can eliminate this threat. Here are some strategies to defeat the Islamic State:

Obama Returns From Trade Summit With 5 Stout Ships Full Of Cardamom, Silk, And Indigo

WASHINGTON— Exhausted, berimed with salt, and haggard from his long sea journey, but nevertheless triumphant as he guided his fleet to port following the completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Barack Obama is said to have made harbor in Washington, D.C.’s anchorage Monday, his five sturdy galleons choked to the very gunwales with the finest silks, casks of redolent cardamom, and great cakes of vivid dye-of-indigo retrieved from the far Orient.

Goals Of The U.N. General Assembly

The 70th United Nations General Assembly takes place this week, with member countries focusing on plans to address global sustainability, economic growth, and the Syrian refugee crisis, among other major topics. Here are the main goals of this year’s assembly:

Pope Francis’ U.S. Itinerary

Pope Francis is making his first visit to the U.S. this week, with stops in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia as he speaks to government officials and conducts large-scale masses. Here is a full itinerary of the pope’s visit

A Primer On Pope Francis’ Views

Pope Francis has garnered much international attention in the first two and a half years of his papacy, taking a more liberal approach to women’s issues, the family unit, and the environment than his predecessors. Here is a primer on prominent global issues and the pope’s views on them:

Shoddy Chinese-Made Stock Market Collapses

SHANGHAI—Proving to be just as flimsy and precarious as many observers had previously warned, the Chinese-made Shanghai Composite index completely collapsed Monday, sources confirmed.

Why Westerners Join ISIS

With more than 150 Americans accused of attempting to fight alongside ISIS in Syria and countless young Europeans allegedly joining or supporting the terrorist group, many are left wondering what a population of extremists has to offer Westerners a world away. Here are some reasons these people might want to ally with ISIS

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.

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

U.S. Soothes Upset Netanyahu With Shipment Of Ballistic Missiles

WASHINGTON—Following Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s heated objections to the nuclear deal struck between the United States and Iran, American officials announced Tuesday that they were calming the upset head of government by treating him to a nice, big shipment of ballistic missiles.

World Begins Another Day At Mercy Of 19-Year-Old Estonian Hacker

TALLINN, ESTONIA—With the private data of national governments and entire global industries at his fingertips, sources confirmed this morning that yet another day had begun with the whole world helplessly at the mercy of 19-year-old Estonian computer hacker Jüri Pevkur.

FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

Global Soccer Tournament To Kick Off In America Later This Afternoon

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup.

Items Found In Bin Laden’s Compound

On Wednesday, the U.S. government declassified more than 400 documents and other material seized from Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout during the 2011 raid that resulted in his death. Here are some of the items found in the former al-Qaeda leader’s compound

U.S. Worried About Living Up To Netanyahu Campaign Promises

WASHINGTON—Saying the Likud Party leader had set Israeli citizens’ expectations extremely high in the run up to his reelection Tuesday, top-level sources expressed their worry Wednesday about whether the United States would actually be able to...

A Timeline Of U.S.-Israel Relations

A congressional visit from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that has reportedly rankled President Obama is the latest issue in what have often been strained diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Mankind Tired Of Having To Remind Itself Of Good In World

PARIS—In the wake of this week’s terrorist attacks on French newspaper Charlie Hebdo and two ensuing armed standoffs that together left over a dozen innocent civilians dead, humankind admitted Friday that it is sick and tired of having ...

Schlubs From U.S., China Meet In Lowest-Level Talks

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA—In an effort to strengthen diplomatic ties between the global superpowers’ most oafish representatives, sources confirmed Thursday that schlubs from the United States and China met in Australia this week for a series of low...

Iranian Team Openly Working On Bomb In Negotiating Room

VIENNA—Asserting the Middle Eastern nation’s right to a safe, peaceful energy program, members of the Iranian diplomatic team attempted to seek more favorable terms of a deal with the P5+1 global powers while openly assembling a nuclear weapon...

Where Is Kim Jong-Un?

North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un has not been seen in public since September 3. Here is the latest speculation on his whereabouts

How China Stifles Dissent

Recent clashes with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have refocused international scrutiny on the Chinese government’s efforts to quell social unrest and silence demonstrators.

Nation Admits It Could Probably Be Talked Into Another War

WASHINGTON—While they acknowledged that getting behind such a plan might take a little convincing, the American populace admitted this week that they could, in all likelihood, be talked into another war. Citizens across the nation told reporters tha...

Ugly Custody Battle Over Ian McKellen Narrowly Avoided

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—Following Scotland’s referendum Thursday rejecting independence from the United Kingdom, sources confirmed that a protracted and ugly custody battle over celebrated actor Sir Ian McKellen had been narrowly avoided.
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How Many Atrocities Does It Take To Get Into USA Today?

I slaughter, and I slaughter, and I slaughter. And do I get any recognition for all my bloodshed? Nope. Since seizing power in Burundi in a 1996 military coup, I have been responsible for countless barbarous acts, committing far worse crimes against humanity than that so-called madman Slobodan Milosevic. Yet it's as if I don't even exist! How many atrocities does it take to get into USA Today?

I'm a single man holding an entire nation in a grip of terror, yet I've never made so much as USA Today's World Roundup column. I'm doing my best to run a brutal regime that has caused mass human suffering, but I can order only so many arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial executions. Sure, Amnesty International may be talking about me, but who ever listens to them? At the very least, I deserve a mention in Larry King's column.

It's not like this for other dictators, you know. Milosevic got his picture in both Time and Newsweek. And a few months back, people were even paying attention to what Suharto was doing in East Timor. But over here in Burundi, I'm up to my elbows in bloody machetes and human heads, and no one even cares.

There's been some really gruesome carnage here lately, if anyone would just take the time to notice. Is America's largest daily newspaper not aware that my army recently massacred thousands of unarmed civilians under the pretense of destroying rebel bases? Apparently not, because the day it happened, they led with a story about the lack of Y2K preparedness among major U.S. airlines. Come on! What will it take?

If there isn't room for a full story, perhaps USA Today could run a chart detailing my major human-rights violations. I could even help write it. There are one million Burundi refugees, many of whom are Hutus I forcibly relocated to camps where, at this very minute, they are dying of disease and starvation. That's worth writing about, isn't it? I may not be Tiger Woods or Ricky Martin, but I'm doing some pretty newsworthy things over here, aren't I?

Our borders are open to American journalists. If you come here to expose my incomprehensible cruelties, you have my solemn word that I will not order you executed. In fact, you can even stay at my palatial presidential compound in Bujumbura. From your room, you will hear for yourself the screams of political prisoners as they are tortured at my nearby military compound. You could stroll around the city and see firsthand how my people live in fear for their lives. They will tell you how members of their family have "disappeared." And then you can return home and write all about it on page 11 or 12!

True, there was that article about me in The New York Times last year. But I've shown that clipping to so many people already. The photo is so worn, you can hardly even tell it's me anymore. And besides, it wasn't a very flattering picture in the first place.

Please. I implore you. Make me world-famous. Yes, the tables have turned, and it is now I who begs. The name Buyoya should be synonymous with evil by now.

I've played it out so many times in my head, I know just how it would go. After the big USA Today piece, Dan Rather's people would hound me to do an interview. Finally, after weeks of turning them down, I would agree on the condition that the interview is non-confrontational. Though Rather starts out benignly enough, asking me about Burundi's poor economy and our civil war, he soon turns on me. He wants to discuss a specific incident in 1998 in which thousands of Hutus were massacred. I become visibly uncomfortable. He demands to know why I insist that there were only 5,000 deaths, when several independent accounts put the number at 20,000.

Flustered, I answer, "You know nothing of the complexities of our affairs. In the name of progress, sometimes people must die." People everywhere are shocked at my cruelty and cold indifference, and my picture is in newspapers all across America! Perhaps even your great comedian Jay Leno makes a joke about me.

Alas, for now, this is only a dream of mine. But I will not give up. I will make USA Today notice me, even if a million more innocents must die.