Straight from the Headlines


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).

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