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27th April
Updated from time to time

Canada seizes North Pole

Canadian troops yesterday reached the North Pole, striking a dramatic blow against what the Canadian government calls a "terrorist rogue state". "We have achieved a mighty victory over the evil forces of Santa Claus, and we will bring democracy to this troubled land," Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced from the deck of an icebreaker somewhere in the Arctic Ocean.

In a news conference last week, Harper stated that Canada had initiated "this war of necessity" against "the lawless Claus regime that has occupied the region for years in direct contravention of international law". "If we don't fight the terrorists at the North Pole, we shall soon be fighting them in Saskatoon!" Harper thundered.

However, the controversial invasion suffered another public relations reverse yesterday as shells from a Canadian artillery unit destroyed the fabled candy-striped pole located at the planet's northern apex. The pole was an internationally famous symbol of the joyous Christmas season. "Human history has indeed entered a bleak cultural twilight from which it may never emerge," mourned Horace Shuttleworth, aged 6, of Plymouth.

Santa Claus's whereabouts are not presently known, but the jolly bearded figure recently appeared in a video airing on the Arabic language news service Al Jazeera. Claus, sporting an AK-47 and an ammunition belt, denounced the "unprovoked aggression of the bloodthirsty Canadian crusaders". Claus called on "all self-respecting elves and reindeer to rise up against the enemies of freedom, justice, and cheap battery-operated toys".

A high-ranking officer with the Canadian army, speaking to DeadBrain on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that elvish guerrilla resistance has "stiffened substantially" in the last week. "There's far more of the little wankers than we planned for," the officer acknowledged, "and they can run right under our tanks."

Critics charge that Canada is attempting to seize control of the large oil and natural gas reserves believed to lie under the fast-melting Arctic ice sheet. In a news conference last week, Harper insisted that the purpose is "to effect regime change and install a democratically elected government for the people - and yes, elves as well I suppose - in the Arctic region." When asked specifically about the rumoured trove of natural resources, Harper stammered "There's oil up there? You don't say!"

Canada's hopes for a peaceful democratic state on its northern border are quickly fading as factional strife overwhelms the Arctic region. "Reindeer-on-reindeer violence is skyrocketing," said Douglas Ramsbottom, professor of toy transportation at the University of Narvik. "Donner and Blitzen have long resented Rudolph's dominance," Ramsbottom noted. "They may see this post-Claus chaos as an opportunity to settle scores."

A recent academic paper called for partitioning the polar zone among contending reindeer militias, but the Canadian government denounces any such talk as "premature". "Our position is clear," Harper said at the news conference. "We must give war a chance."
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