NWV: Ivory Coast Enjoys Peace

NFVS brings period of unprecedented peace and prosperity to African nation

(Abidjan) – Awa Drogba, 12, carries a bucket of water from the communal well located four kilometers from her home village as she has every day over the past four years. Eight is age when Awa says she was strong enough to make the walk with the group of local children who take this trip each day. Eight is also the age at which Awa saw someone murdered for the first time and the age at which she was first raped.

“The men would sit near the well with nothing to do. Sometimes they would let us pass with no problem, but sometimes they wouldn’t.” Awa recalls as we walk together in the blistering Ivorian summer heat. She doesn’t recall how many times the men she referenced took her, nor which man infected her with HIV, but it’s clear that since the beginning of NFVS, her life has improved significantly, “Now we walk to the well and bring back water, no one can hurt us. Life is much better now.”

When we reach the well, a man approaches us and makes a half-hearted grab for Awa, who sidesteps him and walks by to calmly fill her bucket. Appearing defeated and resigned, the man turns to me and identifies himself as Fabrice Toure. I ask the man why he stays at the well when he knows he can’t inflict any violence on the children. He shrugs and responds, “Maybe one day it will change back.”

Awa’s success is reflected all over her country, where happiness, good fortune, and bounty are in abundance for the first time in the nation’s history. No one is being exploited, no village is being looted, and no ethnic group is being massacred. These are exciting times for the formerly troubled developing nation.

“NFVS has been wonderful to us!” declares Estelle Kalou, the Ivorian Economic Minister, “As soon as people could go about their daily lives without horrific violence threatening from all sides we saw a remarkable spike in productivity.”

And truly, The Ivory Coast has never been more productive. Without the conflict, disease, and strife that wracked the nation for decades after the imperial powers looted and destroyed the fabric of their society, an economic boom has taken place. This trend has been reflected across the continent, with the notable exception of South Africa, where white rioting and terrorism has crippled the nation’s infrastructure.

Moussa Gnanhouan, director of the Ivorian Committee for Tourism, says business is booming, “With our warm, peaceful beaches and gorgeous landscape, previously wary westerners and easterners alike are eager to explore a land that just months before felt too dangerous. It’s like a whole new world has opened up to them and we are delighted to be their guide!”

Back in the small villages still scattered across the countryside in which the residents seem content with their customary way of life, Awa and her family seem appreciative of the changes, but also cautious, “It seems too good to be true. I’m enjoying each day of this paradise, but I’m trying not to get used to the luxury. When I have to go back to the old life, I want to be ready.”

NWV: Russian Government Crumbles

Rising non-violence and world peace cripples Kremlin political strategy

(Moscow) – As Muscovites wake to a beautiful spring morning, they also wake to an uncertain future and a national identity crisis. Russia, the country to which they owe their allegiance and in which they hold citizenship, has ceased to exist.

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” With these parting words the now-former Russian President Dima Bilan stepped down from his post and ended his rule.

The Russian state’s sudden demise is self-inflicted, a victim of deep introspection and a nationwide existential crisis. When the historically belligerent nation found itself incapable of violence, unable to invade other territories or disrupt the West, the compulsory inactivity spread existential malaise from person to person, settling over the land like a harsh Siberian winter. Coupled with the Russian far-right’s impotency while torturing and raping homosexuals, the Russian enemy-of-the-state du jour, the nationwide depression spread to all corners of the government. This culminated in the entire bureaucracy refusing to leave their bedrooms, claiming sickness and hallucinations involving dead Chechen children.

The stateless people of the newly free territory are rightfully dubious of their future, “It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness,” Moscow resident Bogdan Bezrukov muses when asked for his thoughts on his government’s fall, adding, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

Former Russian Minister of Defense, Filipp Kirkorov, found drowning his sorrows at the bottom of a bottle in a dingy back-alley bar, gave his perspective on the reason for his nation’s dissolution, “Any idiot can face a crisis; it’s this day-to-day living that wears you out,” he slurred, adding, “What a fine weather today. Can’t choose whether to drink tea or to hang myself,” before looking away and downing his glass as if he’d never spoken at all.

Rather than take advantage of the lawlessness, citizens seem content to sit at their dinner tables staring at one another without ever actually seeing anything at all, family members turned to grotesque strangers intruding on sacred solitude. What little news journalists deign to publish centers around questions of the soul, with op-ed sections chock-full of convoluted proofs for and against the existence of divinity and various foibles of the Russian peasantry.

Taking stock of the situation, former Foreign Ministry official Gleb Kirillov sums up the current mood of his people, “Do we ever get what we really want? Do we ever achieve what our powers have ostensibly equipped us for? No: everything works by contraries…They don’t listen to me, they don’t hear me, they don’t see me.”

NWV: Tibet Secession Standoff Continues Amid Rising Tensions

Crisis enters 66th day as China prepares 73rd assault on rebel monks

(Lhasa) – The weather is fair and mild in Lhasa, but the calm is belied by the simmering tensions between the Chinese military attempting to retake the city and the rebel monks holding it in defiance of Beijing’s demands.

Chinese troops camped outside the provincial capital appear restless and impatient with the intractable situation. When asked, many fondly remembered pre-NFVS campaigns in which they would, “stomp on the throats of western puppets with our boot heel,” as one soldier put it.

Major General Li Jun, the overall commander in charge of the operation, had more to say on the matter, “We are extremely pleased to announce that our great nation has just christened and launched its third modern aircraft carrier. This great advance will help us secure our borders and increase our standing as a leader in the global community.”

Access to Lhasa is strictly controlled and few supplies are smuggled in or out of the city. The blockade itself is proving less effective than military officials had first hoped due to the lack of starvation and disease within the besieged population. To complicate matters, many of the rebel monks are of an ascetic order that has foregone modern conveniences and electricity for thousands of years.

Frustration with the situation is palpable in Beijing where party officials are working to assure the greater population of China that they can still offer protection from dangerous minority groups. “The economic growth of China is set to exceed expectations and reach 9% this quarter,” states Wang Jie, a party spokesman, “At this rate we are set to double the size of US economy in 50 years.”

The 72 and counting failed offensives against the rebels, attributed to the military’s inability to kill or dislodge the rebel monks from their demolished stronghold, has some Chinese citizens questioning the efficacy and wisdom of staying the course.

“Lhasa? What’s a Lhasa?” asks Shanghai resident Liu Fang, turning in confusion to her boyfriend, Xi Bo, who shrugs his shoulders in response, his arms burdened with their daily haul from the shopping mall.

Not everyone is so pessimistic, however. Renowned scholar Zhang Chung of Peking University sees lessons to heed in history, “The United States has seen many cities burn and destroyed by its out-of-control citizens. Even in its own capital of Washington DC the government has lost control. Clearly western-style governance has failed. China is the future.”

Though the outcome of this protracted conflict is uncertain, what is clear is that China will be forever changed by the hard lessons learned in Lhasa.

NWV: K-Pop has K-Stopped

Linked to outbreak of Non-Functional Violence Syndrome say top harmologists                    

(Seoul) – The popular music industry in Korea is in an uproar over its suddenly humbled royalty, with many fans distraught over the idea that their beloved K-Pop may be gone forever.

The trouble began at a 2N2209E0XWWZWWJD concert, one of the highest-grossing groups in South Korean history, when the lead vocalist, Cho Hyun-min, suddenly fell silent during the group’s well known ballad “Baby, Baby, You are my Baby-Star, Baby, Star, Love, Star-Love, Baby-Love”. In a panic, the audience tried to pick up the tune, but found that they were also unable to produce even a few notes from the international hit. The concert was cancelled halfway through as disappointed and confused fans exited the stadium-venue and entered their new nightmare.

“I went home and tried to play a song from the new Gal Pal Gaggle album Eat My Foot, Baby Babe and it just wouldn’t play,” says inconsolable fan Lim Hye-ri, her eyes welling with tears as she recalls the traumatic memory and brandishes ten copies of the same album along with a set of trading cards depicting members of the group she loves, “I thought it might have just been that album so I tried another, but I got the same result! It’s like K-Pop just doesn’t work anymore!”

Within days of the disaster, the South Korean government directed its top scientists to find the cause of K-Pop non-functionality as a matter of national security. K-Pop is a staple of the government’s Korean-Wave cultural strategy.

“They told us we’d better find a solution soon or else…They left the ‘or else’ up to us,” biologist Lee Hyun-jae remembers, “But no one had any idea where to even begin. Fortunately the Americans arrived soon after and made sure our government accepted their explanation, so we never found out what they meant by ‘or else.’”

By the time K-Pop research was underway, the United States had begun funding the famous NFVS project under Dr. Hubert Slovache, who loaned South Korea a few scientists in response to formal requests by the South Korean President.

“Non-functional K-Pop is related to non-functional alright, there’s no mistaking it, all the signs are there. But what we can’t understand is why this very specific genre of music has been targeted,” an American harmologist speaking on the condition of anonymity due to security concerns related, “I mean, I kind of like K-Pop. It’s really catchy and the girls are super-hot.”

With the future of K-Pop in question, South Korean consumers have been forced to look elsewhere. Though most have latched onto still-functional popular music from other nations, some have ventured into Seoul’s long ignored independent music scene, which has seen an unprecedented 200% increase in sales and concert attendance in recent weeks.

Choi Ki-seok of the twee-folk band Die Hippie Fucker, Kill Kill marvels at the change, “We had like 20 people at our last show! I’ve never seen that many independent music fans in one place at one time in Seoul! If this keeps up I might be able to pay my rent this month!”

NWV: Mexican Cartels See Record Low Recruits for 3rd Consecutive Quarter

Drug runners feeling squeeze as NFVS diminishes luster of outlaw life

(Mexico City) – Santiago Jaso Cabello, known better internationally as La Rata Gruñendo (The Growling Rat), sits on the back porch of his secret mountain villa sipping lemonade from a tall, perspiring glass discussing the new challenges his industry has faced since the end of violence.

Speaking through a translator, La Rata Gruñendo is morose about the state of his business, “It wasn’t like this before, it’s never been like this. Before when we had a problem with a rival cartel, or the government launched an offensive against us, we would just kill lots of people and scare the hell out of everyone in the most creative ways we could come up with. Now it’s all just talking and talking and talking. There’s no art anymore.”

The drug kingpin isn’t the only one in the drug game who feels this way. According to sources within each of the top three Mexican cartels, without violence the life of a bandito outlaw no longer attracts the impressionable youths the cartels have historically used to swell their ranks. While new recruits are increasingly scarce, veteran employees are also choosing to pursue other careers.

“It just didn’t have the same thrill anymore,” says Diego Javier Rivera, a former cartel enforcer now working as a grocery bagger at a small bodega outside Mexico City, “It became all about numbers and quotas and margins and less about beheadings and torture. Writing reports on quarterly coca yields isn’t why I got into the business.”

In an industry requiring a great deal of institutional knowledge from its employees, this new high-turnover rate is causing major headaches. Without specialization and lifetime employment commitments from employees, some cartels have been forced to turn to temporary hiring agencies.

“We were first contacted by the Cabra Negro Cartel’s human resources department maybe two months ago,” remembers Gabriel Padilla Falto, manager of a local temp agency, “They were looking for young adult males with loose morals, but I only had a few of those. It seems they were desperate, so they really just took anybody we had.”

The influx of workers untrained in the tricks of the trade has meant more shipments seized by the government, more missed deadlines, and a tighter bottom-line for organizations used to the free-flow of massive capital.

Back at La Rata Gruñendo’s, the changes are beginning to take a personal toll, “If the business stays like this I might have to sell my place in Martha’s Vineyard and leave the game altogether. It’s starting to feel like it isn’t worth the hassle anymore.”

As the cartels have waned, multi-national corporations have stepped in to take their place and fill growing demand. Many drug aficionado’s poo-poo these new mass-produced corporate products and continue to seek out traditionally grown substances.

A self-declared ‘drugie’, the newly repurposed slang word meaning one who seeks out artisanal drugs, Jordan Maxwell of Denver puts it thusly, “Corporations are getting into, like, everything and ruining these, like, traditional family businesses. You gotta stop them, like, somewhere right? You know that quote, ‘First they came for my weed, and I said nothing’…or something like that. You gotta stand for something.”

NWV: Election Booth Blockade Project a Bust

Israeli walls fail to stop determined Palestinian electorate                                                 

(Tel Aviv) – As polls close on this all-important Election Day, one that will decide the future of the Palestinian territories, the Israeli people shuffle home. A profound sense of defeat lingers in the air. By now they know their government’s gambit has failed; they will not see their promised amusement park.

Proposition 3, which, if passed, would turn a huge swath of the Gaza Strip into the world’s largest amusement park exclusively reserved for Israeli citizens, is set to fail due to a massive influx of last-minute Palestinian votes.

As part of a UN-brokered agreement, Israel must allow Palestinians to join Israelis in voting on propositions if the subject of the proposition deals with an encroachment on Palestinian territory. Israel agreed to the conditions, but immediately began construction on 20-meter high concrete walls around all election centers used by Palestinian voters.  Checkpoints were placed at the entrance requiring special ID’s which could only be acquired at an office behind a second checkpoint in a separate location, itself requiring ID’s only acquired behind a third checkpoint, which requires ID’s that can only be acquired behind the first checkpoint.

The election proceeded with this system in place and analysts predicted a landslide victory for the amusement park. Unbeknownst to anyone outside the Palestinian Authority, however, the people of Gaza had an Election Day strategy of their own.

“We knew about the walls and the checkpoints, and we knew it was impossible to get around this bureaucratic system and keep this amusement park from destroying our homes and displacing thousands of our civilians, so we had to come up with a solution.” says PA spokesman Salman Abu Achmad.  “Fortunately we had thousands of unused mortar tubes and rocket launchers sitting around from the last intifada. We put two and two together and…well you’ve seen the result. We’re thrilled with this victory.”

With its mortar tubes and rocket launchers, the PA organized Election Fire Teams, who launched Palestinian voters over the walls and into voting booths all over the territory. The strategy proved even more effective when Israel’s vaunted “Iron Dome” failed to register the flying Palestinians and counter accordingly.

Avner Ben Haim, an engineer working on the Iron Dome System, was shocked when he first heard the news, “It’s a glitch! A loophole! We’ve programmed this thing to shoot down anything of Palestinian origin, but apparently forgot to program it to shoot down the Palestinians themselves. It will be fixed and this will not happen again.”

So far the Israeli government has remained silent on this political fiasco, but a response is expected in the next 24-hours as the Israeli people take stock of their losses and regroup.

UPDATE: The Israeli government has defied the threat of sanctions and began construction on the Gaza Amusement Park.

UPDATE: The United States has vetoed sanctions on Israel put forth before the Security Council.

NWV: Horror Grips London as Buckingham Palace Burns

Prince of Twitington missing, Arabs found near scene held for questioning

(London) – A city and a nation mourned today as the premier symbol of British power and history, Buckingham Palace, burned to the ground in what authorities say is looking like arson of the grandest scale.

At 0421 GMT emergency services received a frantic call from Queen Elizamackerquack in regards to “immigrant looking men” who had set fire to the east wing of the palace. She could provide no further details other than that they had “an ill-tempered look about them.”

By the time first responders arrived, it was too late. The towering inferno had spread to all parts of the historic building and fire crews could do nothing but look on as it collapsed.

“It was awful. I don’t know how it spread so quickly, but there was nothing we could do,” said one of the firefighters at the site after the tragedy, “A piece of this country we’ll never get back went up with those flames.”

Based on descriptions of the suspects and a tip from an eye-witness, Scotland Yard quickly raided and arrested a dozen individuals eating at a Pakistani restaurant just down the road. Witnesses at the scene said the suspects were confused but cooperative and peacefully agreed to come in for questioning.

“I was standing just outside the Paki place when it was stormed. The diners looked baffled, but I think it was just a front,” recalls the tipster, James Lively, who alerted the authorities to the location of the suspects, “This country is going to hell and this is just the latest example, they hate everything about us.”

While the details of the case are scarce and closely guarded by the police, what is known is at some point around 0400, during a large and lively gathering of young socialites in the palace, a fire started in the east wing and quickly spread through antiquated furniture, plentiful flammable beverages, and genteel guests.

“I was admiring the tapestries in one of the guest bedrooms with a close friend when we heard shouts in the hallway. We’d taken off our shoes to relax on the carpet so it took us a moment to react, but when we opened the door we saw a giant ball of fire hurtling towards us down the hall,” remembers a disheveled and clearly shaken young Earl of Scovingtonwick, one of the night’s distinguished guests, “I didn’t see the scoundrels who did it personally, but I have it from an excellent source they had the swarthy complexions commonly found among the North African people.”

A royal family spokesman stated the family would be unavailable for comment until their affairs were in order and the insurance money settled.