News summaries from across the multiverse.

Instead of Giant Pandas US Will Get Bearcats

As the last of the Giant Pandas in the US will return to China when their lease expires next year, the US President discussed the future of “panda diplomacy” with the leader of China in the first talks they have held in more than a year. Loud disagreements and outright shouting was overheard in the hallway outside over a variety of issues, including trade tariffs, electronic waste, inflation, climate change, basketball player dominance, Confucianist ideals, Tito Puente's best album, and even the choice of bathroom colors in the Olympic Village at the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. On the issue of placing giant pandas in US zoos with reasonable lease terms, they could not agree. China raised the price on leasing pandas to the US, which would increase the national debt by 23%. As alternative, the Chinese leader instead offered binturongs (Arctictis binturong), which are a threatened species of weird looking tree creatures. They are commonly known as the bearcat. The President quickly accepted the offer since it was getting close to bed time, and immediately dashed off a quick handwritten executive order for funding support to any US zoo willing to take a couple bearcats. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums issued a stark warning to its members highlighting potential visitor confusion if bearcats are placed near bear species or cat species exhibits. They suggest creating a separate enclosure of “China Bears” with one small space for the bearcats and larger empty space for Giant Pandas that says “Invisible Giant Pandas”.