News roundup: October 2002

THE RAPID expansion of the EU accelerated again this week. Shortly after it was announced that ten countries, mostly from Eastern Europe, were being considered for admission, EU leaders declared that further "assimilation" was required. All ten countries were then admitted without further ado, along with Russia, Lesotho and Bahrain. By 2pm on Thursday, EU death squads had forced Switzerland to join at gunpoint. By 4pm, most of Africa and the Middle East had become members, as well as India and the Federated States of Micronesia. "It's getting out of hand," one leading analyst opined last weekend. "It's got to the point now that France and Italy have joined twice because there aren't any new countries left to join the organisation. Well, apart from the USA, of course." However, fears that matters would snowball catastrophically and that mankind would become a homogenous mass of heaving, undifferentiated flesh, incapable of independent thought or action, proved unfounded yesterday afternoon. Preliminary reports indicate that the EU tried to join itself, causing an infinite loop of bureaucracy and annihilating in an explosion of sub-clauses. * * * THE CHEMICAL formula for love has been discovered. "It's mostly calcium," explained a spokeschap for MIT. * * * EAST AND WEST were inexplicably exchanged for three hours today, according to an Oxford University press release. While the cause is not yet known, researchers point to a number of tell-tale signs to support their hypothesis. Over fifty Russians, they say, defected to Japan by mistake, and the Communist Party of China published a pamphlet railing against the insiduous and morally bankrupt popular culture of the North-West Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, rich Londoners were shame-faced to discover that the mystical gurus they had consulted during the three-hour period were, in fact, from Cornwall. * * * AGGRESSIVE FORESTS in Ireland are not as large a problem as previously claimed, said the Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern earlier. "We realise there is some concern over attacks by belligerent trees," he announced, "but there is no need for panic. They're actually just a bunch of saps." * * * IN SIMILAR NEWS, Los Angeles Police have issued a public information statement regarding the at-large serial killer, Blondell Jobson. "We advise citizens to approach Jobson with no caution whatsoever. Our investigations have revealed that the suspect is incompetent. In fact, we suggest members of the public call him a big girl's blouse. Go on, it'll be a laugh. Information leading to his arrest will probably be ignored." Jobson's death toll currently stands at two biscuits stabbed to death on the Santa Monica Boulevard. * * * RECENT RESEARCH into the socio-political and extra-societal effects of disinclination to timeously discontinue lengthy, extensive or otherwise undisredundanticised sentences or sentential structures, frequently and on many temporal occasions referred to and described as being or appearing "long-winded", have shown that this pattern of combinatorial discourse structures is decidely and incontrovertibly suboptimal, according to Professor Elkings of Birmingham University. "Brevity's better," said him. * * * SADDAM HUSSEIN'S presidency has been challenged by inspectors from Syria and Egypt. Under Arab League law, Saddam's 100% support is not enough to constitute an overall majority in government. * * * THE WASHINGTON sniper proved too elusive for the police manhunt again on Friday, despite standing on top of a mountain of corpses on the White House lawn, handing out photocopies of his passport and home address and screaming "I'm fucking here you morons, now will you please arrest me, for fuck's sake". Washington police have declined to investigate the incident, saying that they are currently following up other leads. * * * INDIA NARROWLY escaped being filed down by 2000 miles to a smooth coastline by British Industry Standards Officers on Tuesday. Describing it as "just too pointy" and "a potential hazard", the team arrived and began work, but left after irate residents pointed out that India had been independent for 55 years. The British Industry Standards Agency apologised for the mistake, adding that it would reconsider its appointment of Prince Philip as Operations Officer.

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