WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 21) — A bomb blast ripped through a crowded street market in Pakistan’s capital today, injuring more than 50 bystanders and damaging storefronts in a three-block area of central Islamabad.
“You don’t mean today, you mean yesterday, right?” said U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson. “You’re talking about the attack out by the airport. No? There was another explosion today? Damn.”
Patterson said the American government had already regretted the casualties from yesterday’s airport bombing, and already hoped that Pakistan’s anti-insurgency forces would continue to fight the terrorist threat from al-Qaida and its allies. She imagined she’d have roughly the same thing to say about this most recent attack, assuming it really was different from the one she had already heard about, which she was pretty sure was near the airport, not downtown.
Meanwhile, over in the State Department, reports were emerging of a renewed series of missile tests in North Korea, signaling that nation’s continued unwillingness to halt its development of nuclear weapons. Three medium-range missiles capable of carrying a small warhead were fired into the Sea of Japan, according to televised reports in Tokyo.
“Are you sure you’re not thinking of those tests about a week ago?” asked undersecretary of state for East Asia Ron Allen. “They said they were going to stop after that, and we have every reason to believe they are complying with the wishes of the international community. What channel did you see that on again? NTV — that’s channel 435 on the satellite, I think. I’ll be right back after I check the TiVo.”
Allen said that while he was at it, he would also check on a news flash coming out of Jakarta that there had been an earthquake in Indonesia. The temblor, measuring a preliminary 6.7 on the Richter scale, rocked the island of Java shortly before dawn local time. It’s definitely different from the earthquake reported in the same area last week, and also completely different from the one on Oct. 12 that briefly triggered tsunami warnings in the western Pacific.
“You’re sure you’re not thinking of that one that was centered right off the coast?” Allen said. “Because I heard about that one and we’ve already dispatched several cargo planes full of relief supplies. Maybe I should get another batch of blankets and drinking water together. You think?”
In other international news, the prime minister of Italy or France or one of those countries denied reports late yesterday that he had attended a wild sex party at his villa outside Rome or maybe it was Paris. The brewing controversy, documented with photos in the local tabloids, could undermine efforts of the Obama Administration to reach a troop reduction agreement with the European Union, since this guy was scheduled to become the next president of the EU.
“Oh, I’m sure it’s not at all what it looked like,” said Defense Department liaison Daniel Maple. “He already settled that issue with his wife and the electorate seems willing to forgive. Wait, this was yesterday?”
Finally, a report from Hollywood confirmed by both TMZ and Us magazine indicated that Octomom Nadya Suleman definitely has the hots for Jon Gosselin, the father of sextuplets who recently quit his marriage and his TLC show “John and Kate Plus Eight.”
“Finally, some real news,” said one observer familiar with the scene. “At last, someone is telling me something I don’t already know.”