Straight from the Headlines


RFN

rfnheadlineReal Funny News (RFN) and the “Straight from the Headlines” feature launched in 2005 as an April Fool’s Day joke. RFN is a fictional news network that publishes fake “Straight from the Headline” news reports. It puts its own thought-provoking twist on current events from around the world in order to elicit laughter. Articles appear once a year on an auspicious day when readers might be fooled into believing that they’re actual news stories. With its own take on the news, RFN fits right in with the mainstream media.

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

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Disclaimer:  These articles are works of satirical fiction. Although they may reference real names and places, any resemblance to the truth is coincidental. References to actual public figures are fictitious.

Click here to read the original article on MG Edwards. Visit MG Edwards for more great travelogues, photos, and video from around the world.

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Straight from the Headlines: Sakhalin and Kurils Secede from Russia


Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia (RFN) – The Russian Far East islands of the Kurils and Sakhalin voted to secede from Russia and rejoin Japan.

An overwhelming majority in the Russian Far East federal subject of Sakhalin Oblast, better known as the Kurils and Sakhalin, voted today in a controversial election to leave the Russian Federation and rejoin Japan. Exit polls indicated that 99 percent of voters favored secession from Russia and annexation by Japan, which had governed the islands from 1807 until the end of World War II. The referendum called “hasty” and “illegitimate” by critics was held ten days after former Sakhalin Oblast governor Alexander Khoroshavin and his top aides fled to Moscow following a period of political unrest in the islands’ capital, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Russia Red SquareThe Sakhalin Oblast government led by interim governor Shigeru Kayano defended the vote as free and fair. “The will of the people is to rejoin the Motherland, Japan. The Russians are constantly trying to drive us into a corner because we have an independent position, because we maintain it, and because we tell it like it is and don’t engage in hypocrisy. But there is a limit to everything. Russia has crossed the line, playing the bear and acting irresponsibly and unprofessionally.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin and critics called the referendum a “sham” and a violation of international law. Election monitors banned from Sakhalin indicated that a large number of foreign workers in the local oil and gas industry were seen at polling stations. Some observers accused the interim Sakhalin government of preventing Russian voters from going to the polls and refusing to give voters the option to remain a part of the Russian Federation instead of independence or annexation by Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denied his country’s involvement in Sakhalin’s move to return to Japan. The Japanese Diet is expected to approve the annexation, and Abe is scheduled to deliver a speech to the parliamentary body on the matter.

Putin decried the movement of ships in the U.S. Pacific Fleet off the coast of Sakhalin as a “dangerous escalation” to enforce the handover. U.S. President Barack Obama denied the claim and stated that the American fleet had been coincidentally carrying out pre-planned military drills in the Sea of Okhotsk. Putin warned that the moves could draw sanctions or a stronger response from Russia.

Before the March 21 disappearance of Khoroshavin and his $2 million Horch 855 Spezial Roadster, the Sakhalin Oblast government had been under pressure from foreign workers and indigenous minorities to ease up on “anti-non-Russian” political restrictions. After thousands of Ainu, Oroks and Nivkhs and foreign workers in the Sakhalin oil and gas industry took to the streets of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in early March, violence erupted when pro-Russian forces tried unsuccessfully to dislodge the protesters occupying Lenin Square. Interim governor Kayano chided the Russian government for what he called “heavy-handed tactics” and stated that “Russia pressed the spring too hard, and it snapped back.”

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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).

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

RFN – We report.

You deal with it.

Click here to read the original article on MG Edwards. Visit MG Edwards for more great travelogues, photos, and video from around the world.

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.

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Business

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.”

Entertainment

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.

Sports

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).

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

RFN – We report.  You deal with it.

Click here for previous editions of Straight from the Headlines:

2005 Edition

2006 Edition

clip_image001M.G. Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the mystery, thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures. He is author of Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, a non-fiction account of his attempt to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, and a short story collection called Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories. He also wrote and illustrated Alexander the Salamander and Ellie the Elephant, two books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series. His books are available in e-book and print from Amazon.com and other booksellers. Edwards graduated from the University of Washington with a master’s degree in China Studies and a Master of Business Administration. He lives in Bangkok, Thailand with his wife Jing and son Alex.

For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at www.mgedwards.com or his blog, World Adventurers. Contact him at me@mgedwards.com, on Facebook, on Google+, or @m_g_edwards on Twitter.

© 2013 Brilliance Press. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted without the written consent of the author.