The Olympics is obviously a good time for governments to announce bad news, since the world’s media outlets spend this fortnight behaving like delirious, nationalistic frat boys who stayed up all night on cocaine and peach schnapps, and then got up the next day and got too much sun and decided to leap screaming into the gigantic swimming pool of sport, where they had a heart attack and drowned. And there they all are, still floating face down in the pool, their pink, lifeless backs blistering in the sun.
So this was the week when lots of bad stuff happened while you were being choked with images of upper class people who have conquered their sense of boredom so successfully that they can actually spend their lives indulging in some of the dullest pursuits humanity has ever conceived. Like rowing. Or horse-riding. In case you didn’t make it through the 18 pages of jingoism and China-envy in your favourite newspaper, here are the announcements that world leaders slipped out under the radar, all in a one-paragraph bite-size digest for you:
Assad launched his new “bomb Aleppo” policy. Putin unleashed his righteous fury on some girls in pink balaclavas and then went to watch the Judo. The EU decided to quietly give up on the euro, but cunningly pretended to have another crisis meeting about it. When the tea lady came in unexpectedly, Eurogroup officials had reportedly taken their shoes and socks off and were eating Pringles.
In Germany, meanwhile, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich replaced the head of Germany’s corrupt, racist secret service with a soulless bureaucrat who once infamously recommended to the government that an innocent Guantanamo Bay prisoner should not be allowed back into Germany. Why? Because he had spent more than six months outside the country without applying to renew his visa at the Ausländeramt. Maybe he just couldn’t keep the forms dry while he was being waterboarded.
Well, that’s about it. I’ve got to go. The men’s individual archery is about to start. I hope we beat those bastard Chinese.