News roundup: August 2002

CLONING RESEARCHERS are being investigated after industry watchdogs voiced suspicions over the partnerships formed to collaborate on work on the human genome. The leading body of the partnership, Gentech Inc., dismissed the claims that cloning was "out of hand", pointing to the "good work" done by it and its primary partners, Gentech Inc., Gentech Inc. and Gentech Inc. Meanwhile, the other companies involved in the research, Gentech Inc. and Gentech Inc., declined to comment, in unison. * * * AN UNIDENTIFIED Turkish man is being questioned by Interpol after he single-handedly delayed rescue efforts to flooded areas in Central Europe by some eight hours. "He came up to us in a little dinghy," recounts aid worker Jason Jassoon, "and told us that there weren't any floods, that someone had mistaken the South Atlantic for the Czech Republic. Then he tried to sell us a carpet." By the time the disaster relief efforts returned to the scene, some 76% of Czechs were clinically pissed off, while the proportion who were in danger of catching their death of cold and should wrap up in a nice warm cardigan had risen as high as one third in some estimates. * * * NASA HAVE ISSUED a public information notice, informing the citizens of Earth that the gravity supply will be cut off as of Wednesday night. This comes after several letters to the UN asking for six months' payment of gravity bills were delegated to Arthur Andersen accountants. Mass panic followed the announcement of the cut-off, and several high-profile businessmen have been reported to have nailed their feet to the floor. The bill currently stands at $26.42, plus tax. * * * DUTCH POLICE HAVE been flown to the Southern Caribbean to arrest several islands on charges of breach of the peace. Reports from terrified Venezuelan fishermen told of "reckless" islands "speeding along at speeds of up to 200mph", allegedly crashing into a number of small fishing smacks. Lawyers acting on behalf of Aruba and Curacao are pressuring the courts to acquit the islands on grounds of "extenuating circumstances, viz., continental drift." The FBI are said to be "interested, very interested" at the news that islands can be arrested, while Cuba has been spotted leaving the region at great speed, heading in the general direction of China. * * * REPORTS THAT DEFORESTATION in the Amazon was not as serious as previously feared have been disproved by an international team of ecologists sent to the region last May. Their findings show that the rainforest in the region was in fact completely cleared in 1963, and that the entire Amazon basin has been a sand-covered desert wasteland since the early seventies. When asked to explain the satellite images of millions of acres of verdant woodland, chief ecologist Ray Ambersant confessed that a small vegetable garden had been mistakenly installed on the lens of GEOSat, NASA's main geostationary satellite. "We've been taking pictures of watercress for years," he said, visibly distressed, at a press conference on Tuesday. "Years, I tell you. But at least it's space cress." The reports follow in the wake of more reassuring news that Germany's Black Forest, previously thought to have been denuded by acid rain, was simply put back the wrong way up after being removed for cleaning in 1976. * * * RUPERT MURDOCH'S business rivals are said to be "unsurprised" at the news that he intends to apply for a manic laughter licence. * * * CARTOGRAPHERS AT the Mercator Institute of Geography, Massachusetts, claim to have discovered the area covered by the blank page at the end of the atlas. "It's a small area in Wolverhampton," explained the Head of Cartography, Dr. Lovelace Underlech. Asked why the page in question was blank, Dr. Underlech explained that the scale was 1:1. "It's actually a map of part of the roof of a Transit van selling a variety of hot snacks," he added. "I recommend the meatburgers. They're slightly gorgeous." * * * THE US FEDERAL RESERVE has lent Argentina a fiver, announced Alan Greenspan yesterday. The fiver will be paid back next Saturday at the pub.

What do you think, did we get it right? Comment here...