Sat | Jan 25, 2020

Anthony Gambrill | While we wait for Russian fake news

Published:Sunday | December 22, 2019 | 12:22 AM

We already have everyday fake news in Jamaican homes – “the dog ate my homework”, “I forgot it was our wedding anniversary again”, “no, you said you would pay the JPS bill” – and so on.

Then there are the national fake news rumours like – “the prime minister is going to resign over the Petrojam/CMU scandal”.

The daily press, probably inadvertently, carries fake news most days of the week; for instance, assuring us that crime is on the decrease.

But we are yet to be the victim of the enormous flood of fake news in the United States. I guess we aren’t important enough to the Russians and North Koreans.

So to fill the gap in the meantime, I have produced an imaginary (I hope) sample of fake news that we might expect in our local media any day now.

INTERNATIONAL

- Despite not having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, it has been announced by the Pope that President Donald Trump is being considered for a sainthood.

- Having seized Crimea, occupied part of Ukraine and has made Syria a de facto protectorate, Russia has claimed rightful ownership of Alaska and will be invading that US state shortly.

- Scotland has declared war on England. Prince William and Prince Harry return to active duty. Prince Andrew has been assigned to Dad’s Army.

- China will convert those islands in the South China Sea that it earlier fortified into luxury resorts to be managed by a Jamaican hotelier.

- Venezuela has annexed Trinidad, claiming that thousands of its citizens who recently emigrated there now represent the majority of the population.

- Venice is to promote itself as a skin-diving paradise now that St Mark’s Square is permanently under water.

- Catalonia has seceded from Spain and applied to join France, despite objection from President Macron who explained that he has enough refugees as it is.

NATIONAL NEWS

- Petrojam is to be turned into a giant children’s park, according to the Minister of Mining and Other Embarrassments. Kids will be allowed to run around the colourfully decorated oil refinery and ogle the storage tanks painted with the likenesses of the prime minister’s Cabinet.

- The Jamaica Teachers’ Association has advised that its members will strike every Friday until such time as the Ministry of Education agrees to a four-day week. The JTA points out that its members need the extra day off to do their supermarketing.

- Promised businessman Lascelles Chin is entering the motor vehicle manufacturing field and claims that he has built Jamaica’s first electric car which is capable of going from Harbour Street to Manor Park in 15 minutes. In his press release, he failed to account for the likelihood of traffic congestions, road repairs, political roadblocks and speeding restrictions.

- Dudus expects to represent the JLP in the Tivoli Gardens constituency on his return to the island.

- Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange has commissioned a life-size statue of Jamaica-born fashion model Naomi Campbell to be erected outside the Social Development Commission.

RURAL NEWS

- Jamaican fishermen have decided to fish in the waters off Japan in retaliation for Japanese trawlers fishing off the Pedro Cays.

- Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has invited the Chinese Harbour Engineering Company to build a four-lane highway from Papine via Newcastle to Buff Bay to open up investment opportunities to the interior of Jamaica for visitor attractions.

- Now that pineapples are fast replacing coconuts as the island’s brightest hope for agriculture, Wray & Nephew will be adding pineapple liqueur to its product line, along with cassava energy drink.

- When it is completed, the south coast road from Harbour View to his house in San San, Portland, will be named the Daryl Vaz Highway.

SPORT

- The Reggae Boyz have recently won three games without conceding a goal. The scores of these remarkable victories were Jamaica, 6 – Tobago 0, Jamaica, 7 – Nevis, 0 and Jamaica, 8 – Little Cayman, 0. Buoyed by this run of form, the Reggae Boyz will play Mexico and the USA next.

- The horse racing fraternity will be interested to learn of a forthcoming series of challenges between leading Caymanas Park trainers Baba Nunes and Wayne DaCosta. No, not horse races. They will compete against each other in arm-wrestling, karaoke and breakdancing.

- A JLP-sponsored fun run will see Peter Phillips take on Peter Bunting over a half-marathon. As a handicap, shadow minister Bunting will start half an hour after shadow prime minister Phillips.

CORPORATE HELPING HAND

- A well-known Morant Bay businessman is donating a pencil sharpener to every primary school in St Thomas.

- Any high school student opening a saving account with National Commercial Bank will receive a lunchbox absolutely free if he or she can prove that they come from a single-parent home.

- Graduates of technical schools islandwide can apply for a complimentary shoeshine kit from the Jamaica Manufacturers Association to sustain them while they seek more remunerative employment.

- An application has been made by Guardsman Ltd for a licence to import Canadian apples for distribution to teachers on Valentine’s Day.

OTHER NEWS

- The following weeks will be recognised in 2020: National Saltfish and Ackee Week, National Reward Your Garbage Collector Week and National Stray Dog Rescue Week. Honour awards will be given by the media to the following: ‘Outstanding Grandmother’, ‘Most Successful Praedial Larcenist’ and ‘Safest Taxi Driver of the Year’.

WEATHER FORECAST

- Hurricanes in 2020 will be confined to the north coast of Jamaica. Earthquakes, if any, will occur in Port Royal to celebrate the famous 1692 quake.

- The forecast for the next three months is for intermittent rain to fall in all areas other than those containing five-star hotels.

BREAKING NEWS

- Usain Bolt has confirmed he intends to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. He will run in the men’s marathon.

- Anthony Gambrill is a playwright. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com