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The Tortoise Islands Navy has announced that it will send a formidable warship to confront Somali pirates that have been taking ships hostage and plundering their cargos off the East African coast.

The escalating crisis, which has culminated in pirates seizing and boarding a ship laden with deadly armoury of fatal weapons with potential to kill being shipped from Ukraine to Kenya, is threatening the stability of the African coastal sealanes.

The chief of the Tortoise Islands Defense Force, General Backbreaker, said today that he was ordering the warship to set sail as soon as it was properly armed and provisioned.

The ship has been named as "The Golden Tortoise" and will be armed with 16 cannon and the latest and most appropriate anti-piracy weaponry. However, supply problems have caused severe delays.
 2,000 cannon balls were required and it has taken some time for such a large quantity to be obtained.

Loungecast also understands that General Backbreaker has ordered 250 kegs of gunpowder which are expected to arrive in the Tortoise Islands tomorrow. "Krakka" the parrot is already on board and has been familiarising herself with the deck, the masts and the complex rigging.

Captain "Ahab" Barnacle from the Tortoise Islands Navy is already on board and supervising preparations for the dangerous voyage. Sailors have been spotted practising sword-fighting on the Navy Wharf, and the sounds of blunderbuses and muskets being fired could be heard, with the aromantic smell of gunpowder in the air.

second from top story


Police now fear that the Hopeless Diamond, recently stolen in a daring robbery from the Congo Museum of Antiquities, may have left the country. The diamond, the world's largest, is now being sought by international law enforcement agencies including Interpol. A rare goblet dating back to the Knights-Templar is also missing. (Only 12 of the numbered goblets are known to exist.) The goblet bears the Roman number eight "VIII" on its base.

Less than four hours after the daring robbery, three masked men shot their way through a border crossing into neighbouring Tanzania, heading directly eastward towards Zanzibar. Congo police returned fire in the dramatic confrontation but the robbers were able to escape. The border check-point was left riddled with bullet holes.

The timing of the sensational incident was consistent with the timeline of the robbery and the time it would have taken to travel to the border, leading police to believe that the masked men were the diamond thieves.

(More info about the Hopeless Diamond appeared in our last issue)

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special report


Switzerland's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been mysteriously shut down, and the world's worst fears appear to have been realised. In-depth investigation by Loungecast and our associated agencies indicate that Kingpin Tin, the world's largest robot, may have accessed the collider itself. If so it means that Kingpin Tin may have obtained strangelets, the mysterious and hypothetical killer particles that he could theoretically use in his next-gen armoury (as exclusively revealed last issue.)

If properly focused, the strangelets could be used to create a fatal death ray, according to physicists at the WCD, the Tortoise Island's leading scientific research institution.

Switzerland's armed forces are desperately trying to find the Kingpin, hoping to avert a deeper crisis. Meanwhile, the government has issued a press release saying that the LHC has been closed for three months due to a "faulty switching device."

The delay gives a technological lead to the Even Larger Particle Collider (ELPC) now under construction in the Tortoise Islands by an international consortium including the WCD. Scientists had hoped to switch on the ELPC early next year, but the Kingpin's attack has cast a dark shadow over that plan and security arrangements are expected to be reviewed.

ordinary report


Zimbabwe has announced that it will send 380 trillion dollars to the USA as a contributing solution to the global financial crisis that has engulfed Wall Street and the American Economy. The Zimbabwe government has revealed that the Royal Zimbabwe Mint, the world technological leader at high volume printing, will work 25 hours a day until the crisis is solved.

Zimbabwe Reserve Bank Governor Mr Gideon Gono said today that the mint was capable of printing up to 10 trillion dollars a day, noting that this state-of-the-art technology eclipsed that of the USA and Europe. At that rate, he calculated that 380 trillion could be printed in 26 days.

Zimbabwe has been deeply concerned in recent times that the Wall Street avalanche of bad debts could have a negative impact globally, filtering down to Africa and potentially having an adverse effect on the Zimbabwe economy.

However, the Zimbabwe Prudential Commission, the Zimbabwe Federal Reserve and the Zimbabwe Department of Finance have been closely monitoring the global financial situation for the past month and have taken the appropriate pre-emptive steps to anticipate the crisis.

Mr Gono said that the government had already ordered 10,000 tons of extra paper and 25000 gallons of ink to cope with the extra demand. He also said "It's imperative that the collapse of Wall Street isn't allowed to negatively impact the financial equilibrium that we enjoy here in Harare. I will continue to work closely with Presidents Mugabe and Bush to avert a worldwide global international melt-down."

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Number 002 — 01 October 2008



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