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"Get your news weakly"SM 28 July 2008

Obama's World Tour Massages America's Image Abroad

Following presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Illinois Senator Barack Obama's return from a short and well-covered world tour, many political pundits have been discussing what, if any impact the tour will have on the campaign. The pundits all seem to agree that any explicit measurement of impact will be hard to judge. At the same time, however, many feel that the senator has already gone a long way to enhance the image of the U.S., particularly in Germany. Speaking to reporters, German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized the change in U.S.-German relations, saying, "We feel as though Senator Obama's visit lifted a significant weight from our shoulders, which is to say that Barack gives a much better back rub".

Increased Post-Obama American Interest In Europe

One side-effect of Senator Barack Obama's visit to Europe is an increase in the general interest level of the average American in all things European. In fact, according to a Newsweakly / Pew Trust survey, most Americans were unaware of the existence of Europe, suspecting it to be another desperate plea for attention by former vice president Al Gore. When presented with pictures of Obama speaking to a large crowd in Berlin, several respondents in the McCain campaign reported that the pictures were indications that he had raised an army, which he would use to overthrow the U.S. government, an accusation lent credence by the simple fact that the Obama campaign has yet to refute it.

As a result of these misconceptions, the major news outlets have banded together to help educate readers about the real Europe, dispatching reporters across Obama's European wake to find human-interest stories that will increase circulation through lack of controversy and lack of factual information. In at least the last sense, Newsweakly continues to be a media leader.

Newsweakly correspondents sought out and found high-adventure aficionados around the continent, in an effort to put a human face to what might likely be the elite shock troops of Obama's as-yet-undenied Army. Most notable of the Newsweakly discoveries is a high-energy
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event in a country that borders Germany, where Obama's Army seems most fully entrenched. The event is the Frisian Mountain Climbing International Invitational, which takes place every year in the Netherlands. The event is one of the least known but most difficult mountain climbing competitions in the Netherlands, long known for its climbing expertise.

According to event historian Kaas Duinen, the invitational is based on the ancient mountain climbing traditions of the Frisian peoples, who have lived along the shores of the North Sea for centuries.

Dutch competitor Lijken Dijk, who lives in Amsterdam, has been participating for the last 20 years. "The challenges at the Frisian Invitational are unlike any other", says Dijk, adding, "The Dutch people have never really gone for things that are big and flashy; we prefer to approach things methodically for a very long time".

Despite the relatively low-profile of the event, it has been able to continue for several decades. Many international climbing analysts attribute the event's longevity to the traditional Dutch payment plan, which assumes winners pay for their own trophies.

Apple And Merck Form Strategic Partnership

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Merck Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:MRK) have recently announced a strategic partnership. The initial product offering will reportedly be a new suppository, tentatively named the "iSuppose". Apple insiders indicate that Steve Jobs has been working on suppositories for quite some time and that the technology is prepared to flush the competition from the scene. The iSuppose will reportedly have a buttery soft coating, just the perfect shade of light brown, but not quite tan, simple packaging that soothes the nerves of the user, and an easy to use interface, marking a radical shift from the obscure and hard-to-use interfaces of existing suppositories. The marketing collateral for the iSuppose has been leaking out to reporters, but with little real substance, as yet. In the absence of hard information, market analysts have been quite excited about associated rumors of an iSuppose Shuffle.

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© 2006, 2007, 2008 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler