News Roundup: March 2005

GEORGE BUSH IS expected to pass a law today on the "right to die" case of a brain-damaged woman, who has been in a persistent vegetative state for over a thousand years. Mr. Bush's law is widely thought to read "no". An amendment proposed by the House of Lords, reading "sometimes", was rejected by Congress on the grounds that the United "States" of "America" were somehow a separate country now and not under the dominion of Her Majesty the Queen. Lawyers are looking into the case with some mirth. Meanwhile, the patient's family insisted that she led a rich and fulfilling life, or at least as much as anyone else in Florida. Outside, the legions of the old wandered aimlessly, as if to underline the point. The wind howled. It was a dark and stormy night. The legislation comes into force on Friday. * * * RUMOURS OF A rift between Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown received another boost yesterday, as Mr. Brown interrupted a speech in the House of Commons to punch Mr. Blair on the nose. There followed a brief political discussion, involving three nearby MPs and, inexplicably, a pack of wolves. The Speaker eventually managed to restore order using wiles. Mr. Brown then apologised, blaming stress, mild illness and the Conservative Party, and business was resumed as usual until Mr. Blair's scheduled speech. The Prime Minister was only three sentences into his outline plans for pensions reform when he suddenly changed tack and abolished Scotland. Mr. Brown appeared shocked by the abrupt removal of his homeland, and left the building with some rapidity. He is currently thought to be in Greenwich, Europe or elsewhere, unless he is not. This is, however, unconfirmed. Press around the world await the developments with interest. * * * CARLY FIORINA HAS been ousted as CEO of Hewlett-Packard after failing to provide sufficent returns for shareholders. In particular, she is widely seen to have undermined HP's share of the booming cattle market by trading at unfavourable rates for bean futures. In her defence, she told a recent press conference that lucrative returns would be forthcoming given time, and that she had identified key untapped opportunities in the gold-extraction market. She then burbled something about giants and beanstalks and appeared to attempt to climb up the Chief Financial Officer. She received news of her dismissal that afternoon. The move follows Ms. Fiorina's unsuccessful foray into the porridge-bonds business at the time of a strong bear market. * * * EXPORTS FROM CONGO, formerly the Democratic Republic of Congo, previously known as Zaire, previously Hounslow and Enfield Municipial District, have experienced a boost. Unprecedented price levels in the FIGHT markets have meant millions of angry dollars flowing into the impoverished region. Rich nations such as Switzerland and Norway have started importing three to four times as much FIGHT as at the same point last year. These countries have little domestic supply of FIGHT and rely heavily on foreign trade to maintain national ANGRY levels. New importers have sprung up in the Middle East as well, anticipating the FIGHT sources in Iraq and Syria to be short-lived. The world's main source of FIGHT remains, however, Glasgow, where FIGHT can be found close to the surface and does not need heavy equipment to be extracted. * * * AN OUTBREAK OF Latin in Minneapolis has spread to neighbouring cities. Dead Roman ethnic minority leaders have refused to comment in public but are said privately to be "delighted". Most high-profile figures have been evacuated from the area, but the Bush administration has assigned Dan Quayle to tackle the problem. This is widely believed to be on the grounds that he is unlikely to be any less coherent in Latin than in English and will therefore remain unaffected. * * * AN OUTBREAK OF Dan Quayle has been quelled at the last moment by nuking the area. Health Authorities remain jittery and have been granted the right to use lethal force against anyone failing the Grugenheim-Anflesser "arse/elbow" test devised by the Pentagon for just such a situation.

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