Here's your briefing on the strangest (true) stories that made it into the news this week. As always: the stories are real, the commentary is satire. Happy Friday.
1. **Rick Perry thought he was speaking to the Ukrainian prime minister for 22 minutes**
Former Texas Governor and current Energy Secretary Rick Perry fell victim to a pair of Russian prank callers last week, who convinced him that he was talking to the Ukrainian Prime Minister for a full 22 minutes.
"It honestly became fatiguing," one of the pranksters said of the joke. "I mean, a 45-second bit is a 45-second bit. After that, it's just awkward."
Five minutes into the gag, one of the pranksters straight-up told Perry that he wasn't the Prime Minister of Ukraine. Perry replied, "Well, not with that attitude."
In all, Perry spent 4 minutes talking about his love for Donald Trump, 8 minutes discussing how glasses make you look smart, and 10 minutes explaining why Olive Garden is his favorite restaurant.
He only accepted that the call was fake when the Russians refused to admit that Olive Garden is underrated.
This incident mirrors the controversy that arose when Perry mistakenly thought he had been made Secretary of Enemas for his first 22 days in office.
2. Reports claim Justin Bieber may be starting his own church
Reports have surfaced claiming that the real reason Justin Bieber cancelled his recent world tour was so that he could start his own church.
"I wanted to get closer to God," said the Canadian hearth-throb. "But then I was like... What if God is closer than I ever imagined? What if I'm God?"
Bieber has stated that if he does open churches, they will all be conveniently located next to La Senza Girl outlets, so that his fans can simultaneously buy their first bras and lay them at the altar of their chosen deity.
3. Serial killer Elizabeth Wettlaufer's nursing licence could be revoked today
Canadian nurse Elizabeth Wettläufer recently confessed to murdering 14 elderly patients under her care. And now she may be suffer an even more serious humiliation: authorities are seriously considering revoking her nursing licence.
"We're looking into the matter," said Connie Hallworth, President of the Canadian Nursing Association. "We don't want to rush to judgement. On the one hand, she's a serial killer. But on the other hand... come on."
Wettläufer's lawyer has been building an airtight argument against disbarring her. "Did they revoke Jeffrey Dahmer's fishing licence?" he asked. "On the one hand, he ate a bunch of folks. But on the other hand... come on."
4. Female Athletes Are Closing The Gender Gap When It Comes To Concussions
Good news for feminists this week, as a new study shows that female athletes are getting closer to suffering as many concussions as their male counterparts.
"it's a big day for womyn in sport," said Cherry McAfferty, who runs the nonprofit Jocks For Jills. "Female athletes are still only getting 78% of the brain damage they're entitled to, but we're steadily inching toward equal trauma for equal work."
5. Fans are legitimately upset that Michael Phelps didn't race a real shark
"I'm seriously disappointed," said Phelps enthusiast Skip Dunford. "This is just like that time Tiger Woods said he was going to play around with a tiger and then it turned out to be Tony the Tiger. Spoiler alert: it wasn't great."
6. Sean Spicer could be joining 'Dancing With the Stars,' report says
Spicer refused to rule it out, although he admitted he's not very good at spinning. Bookies are already taking bets on whether Spicer will appear, or just Melissa McCarthy.
7. Kenyan vice president candidate debates himself after rivals' no-show
Against a backdrop of five empty podiums, Kenyan Vice-Presidential candidate Eliud Muthiora Kariara took on the immeasurable challenge of debating himself.
"I think I did alright," Kariara said after the debate. "I can sometimes be my own worst enemy, but I certainly consider me a worthy opponent."
At one point, in a debate highlight for the ages, Kariara levelled some startling accusation at himself.
"I'm an embezzler," Kariara accused.
"I am not," Kariara replied.
"I'm an inside trader who wants to profit from public office."
"Where am I getting that? What's my source?"
"I am my own source."
"And yet I'm saying that I'm dishonest. Therefore, everything I say must be untrue. Therefore, I am honest."
"I make a good point," Kariara conceded. "I think I just won my vote."
"I'm going to vote for me too," Kariara agreed. "And when I take office, we can finally get our precious back from the hobbitses."