Straight from the Headlines (2013 Edition)

News & Politics

Symp Tax Introduced to Congress

Washington (RFN) – Congressman Dave Dingleberry of Washington, D.C. introduced a bill to Congress April 1 that would allow taxpayers who favor increased revenue for the Federal Government to withhold additional income tax voluntarily. In a speech delivered on C-SPAN, Dingleberry told viewers that if enacted, the Spend Your Money Publicly (SYMP) Act would add up to $84 million in additional revenues to the Federal coffers. The Congressman stated, “It’s time to give Americans the chance to give back to their country. It’s time for those who want to pay higher taxes to show their support through a symp tax.”

Poll Finds ‘The Onion’ Losing its Sense of Humor

New York (RFN) – A public opinion poll conducted in March by The Onion and Al Jazeera found that a majority of The Onion’s readers believed that the amount of humorous content in the satirical new source’s articles has declined substantially since 2008. Results from the poll of 1,000 respondents showed that more than half thought it was “less humorous” while another quarter thought it was “not funny at all.” A spokesperson for The Onion stated, “I’m sorry, but we just don’t think this president is as funny as the last one. Beside, half of our writers went to work for the Administration after the 2008 Election.” The Onion is a subsidiary of Al Jazeera.




Company Announces Asteroid SlingShot

Spaceport America, New Mexico (RFN) – Private space exploration company Romulan Ventures announced April 1 that it had developed the “Asteroid SlingShot,” a prototype designed to catch and deflect asteroids on a potential collision course with Earth. Made from heat-resistant, elastic materials, the device pulled by two aircraft successfully deflected the flight paths of more than 100 migrating birds in a limited test near Spaceport America, New Mexico. Romulan spokesperson Kirk James told reporters that more tests would be needed to determine whether the Asteroid Slingshot could be scaled up to deflect asteroids bound for Earth. He estimated that the device would cost approximately $1.2 trillion to build and deploy and added, “When it comes to saving the Earth from destruction, it’s worth it.”


Call Center Set Up to Field ‘Star Wars 7’ Inquiries

Los Angeles (RFN) – Sources in Hollywood are reporting that a call center has been established in Bangalore, India to field inquiries from thousands of actors interested in joining the cast of Star Wars Episode 7, the most anticipated film in recent years. With reports that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are set to reprise their roles as Luke, Leia, and Han Solo in the epic series, thousands of actors have clambered to join the cast. Sources stated that so many had demanded roles in the new movie that the movie’s studio opted to outsource the high call volume to a call center. An unidentified casting agent close to new Star Wars director J.J. Abrams told RFN that, “The last straw was when Ahmed Best called to ask if he could reprise his role as Jar Jar Binks.” Star Wars Episode 7 sans Jar Jar will be released in theaters everywhere in 2015.

Survivor to Film on Location in North Korea

Los Angeles (RFN) – Producers of the reality show Survivor announced that the show has settled on North Korea as the location for its 15th season after receiving permission to film in the country. During his February 2013 visit to North Korea, former NBA star Dennis Rodman reportedly received personal assurances from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on behalf of the show. Rodman said, “Oh yeah, my buddy Kim loves that show. He even wants to be a contestant.” The North Korean leader declined requests to allow filming at Yoduk prison camp but approved the production at the Ryugyong Hotel in the capital, Pyongyang. The show’s producers did not confirm whether Kim would be a contestant. However, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korea’s official news agency, released a statement confirming that Kim had added “Survivor Winner” to his list of official titles.


World Baseball Cricket (WBC) Tournament Ends in Turmoil

New Delhi (RFN) – Game one of the World Baseball Cricket (WBC) tournament ended in confusion April 1 when the American baseball team and the Sri Lankan cricket team came to blows in a bench-clearing brawl over scoring issues. The Americans claimed that they led the Sri Lankan team by a score of 2-0 on home runs by Greg Smith and Joe Johnson. The Sri Lankan team countered that they were ahead 220/6 to the Americans’ 200/3. Umpires have not yet sorted out the final score.

ACLU Seeks an End to April Fool’s Day

Los Angeles (RFN) – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), citing possible civil rights violations on April Fool’s Day, set up a hotline to help end the practice of perpetrating practical jokes on unsuspecting fools the first day in April. The ACLU asks those who are potential victims of April Fool’s Day pranks to contact the April Fool’s hotline at their earliest convenience. The ACLU will prepare cases for eligible claims in an effort to combat this offensive practice. If you believe you have wrongly duped by an April Fool’s Day joke or prank and seek redress, contact the ACLU at 968-3665 (YOU-FOOL).

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Al Jazeera in Talks to Purchase ‘The Onion’

Doha, Qatar (RFN) – Arab network seeks to expand U.S. presence by purchasing popular U.S. news source ahead of highly anticipated IPO

Qatar-based Al Jazeera is in negotiations to purchase a majority stake in The Onion, a popular U.S. news source.  Al Jazeera spokesman Jihad Ballout refused to confirm the network’s interest in purchasing the media company, citing regulatory concerns in advance of its upcoming initial public offering.

The company is interested in establishing an international media presence.  It has also been in talks with London-based The Guardian to purchase a minority stake.  The Onion, a weekly news publication read by millions in print and online, is one of the most popular news sources among 18-35 year olds in the U.S.   Sources indicated that two companies are in the advance stage of negotiation, although negotiations in recent days have been delayed by disagreement over whether ‘The Onion’ would keep its name or change it to ‘Al Onion.’

Guantanamo Bay’s Tourism Industry Suffers from Prisoner Abuse Scandal

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (RFN) – Tourism to Guantanamo Bay down 63% in 2004 due to allegations of prison abuse

Officials at Guantanamo Bay confirmed that recent prisoner abuse scandals have significantly depressed tourism in the U.S. enclave.  Tourism had been robust in recent years as hundreds of Americans and other visitors visited the small site in southeast Cuba.  Tourism increased with the launch of Guantanamo Bay’s “See the Other Cuba” marketing campaign in 2003 and the increasing popularity of the site’s “Naval Reservation Boundary” tour.  In 2003 344 tourists visited Guantanamo Bay.  By 2004 tourism dropped to just 217, a decrease of 63%.  Officials believe that tourism may recover to its previous level once the scandals have been resolved.

Korean Star May End Film Career

Seoul (RFN) – Popular Korean film star Bae Yong Jun may end his film career to concentrate on other endeavors

Korean film star Bae Yong Jun, affectionately known as ‘Yonsama’ and ‘BYJ’ to his legions of fans, may be filming his last film.  The star of the popular “Winter Sonata” drama series is currently filming the highly anticipated film, “April Snow.”  When asked by reporters about his future plans, the star responded, “I’m not sure.  I might try telemarketing.  People say I have a great voice for it.”

Fans worldwide were shocked and dismayed by the revelation that Bae might leave acting.  Distraught Yonsama fan, Yuri Kurasawa of Fukuoka said, “I don’t know what I’ll do if Yonsama retires.  They can have Dokto [Islands]—just let us have Yonsama!”

“I love BYJ.  Where will he work?  I want to call him!” asked Kim Haejin of Seoul.

Bae’s “Winter Sonata” series contributed over $1.1 billion in Korean-Japanese trade in 2004 and has become a popular contraband item in North Korea.

‘Star Wars’ Shocker:  Anakin Skywalker’s Father Revealed

Skywalker Ranch (RFN) – The third and final installment in the ‘Star Wars’ saga opening May 19 reveals that Senator Palpatine is Darth Vader’s father

Director George Lucas has been mum on the subject, but unidentified sources close to the filming of “Revenge of the Sith” confirm that the character of Senator Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, is Anakin Skywalker’s father by birth.  Skywalker, better known as Darth Vader, has long been associated with immaculate conception by his mother.  Because fans reacted favorably to the revelation that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father in the movie “The Empire Strikes Back,” Lucas decided to use the same strategy in filming his latest installment in the saga.

“We needed to do well with this film because the last two did so poorly.  We believe this will help bring back the magic of the first three films.  George [Lucas] still regrets writing Jar Jar Binks into the script,” the source confirmed.  “If we throw in Chewbacca, Luke and Leia, why not make Palpatine his dad?  We’re still trying to figure out how to write Han Solo as a baby into the script.”

ACLU Seeks an End to April Fool’s Day

Los Angeles (RFN) – The American Civil Liberties Union, citing possible civil rights violations on April Fool’s Day, plan lawsuits to end practical jokes

The American Civil Liberties Union announced today that it welcomes anyone who believes they are a potential victim of April Fool’s Day to contact the civil rights organization.  The ACLU will prepare cases for eligible claims in an effort to stamp out the common household and office practice.  If you believe you have wrongly duped by an April Fool’s Day joke and seek redress, contact the ACLU at 968-3665 (YOU-FOOL).

Visit RFN for all the latest news and information affecting your world.

RFN – We report.  You deal with it.