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Auld Lang Syne and the owl who was too fat to fly

FROM the strains of Auld Lang Syne accompanying the signing off of the Brexit bill in Europe, to the owl who was too fat to fly through overindulgence, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Thursday 30th January 2020.

Such scenes at the formal signing off of the Brexit Withdrawal Bill in the European Parliament yesterday (Wednesday) that one could almost be mistaken into believing there simply wasn't a vestige of sanity left.
This was the last big obstacle before we officially Brexit the European Union at 11pm tomorrow (Friday) with gathered MEPs called to vote on the bill. A landslide 621 voted for and 49 against because at this stage the feeling is "what is the point?", though full props to those who voted nay in a bid to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
EU Chief Guy Verhofstadt said it was sad to see a country leaving that "has twice given its blood to liberate Europe", adding he predicted the UK would eventually rejoin the bloc.
Brexit party leader Nigel Farage meanwhile gave his final speech in the chamber saying: "Well that's it, it's all over, it's finished. We're never coming back". His party then took union flags out of their pockets and started waving them, before the whole crew of them were sharply discharged from the building.
Those who remained, both figuratively and metaphorically, burst into a rendition of Auld Lang Syne and draped EU scarves over their shoulders.
Britons scheduled to be evacuated out of coronavirus-hit Wuhan this morning (Thursday) have been delayed over some hoo-ha about China not getting round to authorising the evacuation in time. As This Reporter went to press it was unclear whether the situation had been resolved.
Some 200 Britons had been ordered to sign a contract to agree to a 14-day quarantine period on arrival back in the UK, with several locations scouted out including a military base and a posh hotel but it appears even this location has not been firmed up yet - or more likely, made public. Floating through This Reporter's head is the phrase "and they were never seen again".
Nearly 7,000 people have now been infected with coronavirus across the globe, with 170 deaths, making this a far more catastrophic virus than SARs.
Donald Trump's border wall has fallen down in circumstances we can categorically conclude reveal greater forces at work. The wall, which incidentally has been scaled down from the "beautiful wall" Trump originally trumpeted about built out of concrete, to a nine metre high steel structure, was blown down in a gust of wind.
It was just a small section of the 3,000km expanse along the border with Mexico, but even so, Trump better take note. Next will come the locusts.
And finally, an obese owl who was found soaked through in a ditch and unable to fly has been put on a diet.
The owl, a little owl (ironically), was brought into Suffolk Owl Sanctuary by a landowner who assumed she must be injured. As it turned out the owl was simply too heavy to take off and has been nursed back to a more "natural weight" and released back into the wild.
The sanctuary said it was extremely unusual for wild birds to get into this condition naturally but where she had been found was very productive land and it's been a mild winter so there was plenty of food around.
"We think she's just done incredibly well for herself and overindulged", a spokesperson commented. "We may see her again - we hope not". Now This Reporter must intervene here and admit she thinks she may have an issue with how she has transcribed her notes. Is this still a quote about the owl, or a quote about our European exit?

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