AMERICA seems to be in a strange state of suspense. While Donald Trump is jubilant that the 22-month Mueller investigation has cleared his 2016 election campaign of collusion with Russia – though not necessarily him of obstruction of justice – very few know what the 485-page report actually says.
Attorney-General William Barr first summed it up in four pages, then last week released the full report but so heavily redacted (material edited out for various legal and security reasons) that nobody is much the wiser.
Now the New Yorker brings us an angle on the redaction process. It says Russian President Vladimir Putin and his team spent a "hellish all-nighter" redacting the report on behalf of Barr.
"The Russian president was reportedly 'in a state of disbelief' over how much Barr had failed to redact. Quickly assembling a crisis team at the Kremlin to implement further redactions, Putin told his associates: 'Put some coffee on, boys - it's going to be a long night.'"
This is satirist Andy Borowitz again, over the top, getting a bit of a laugh. Now the Democrats in the House of Representatives have subpoenaed to be shown an unredacted version.
Yet the redacted version speaks unambiguously anyway of Russia's Internet Research Agency running pro-Trump trolls and automated bots on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, with social media accounts that "reached tens of millions of US persons".
Posts from some of these Russian accounts were retweeted unwittingly by high-profile supporters of then candidate Trump, including his sons, Donald J Trump jr and Eric Trump.
These fake accounts even set up rallies using unwitting supporters in the US.
Nobody can say quite what effect all this had on the outcome. But given that Trump actually had an overall minority vote – it's surely a concern.
Then consider well-founded suspicions that Russia did the same with the Brexit referendum in Britain – again a narrow result.
What are Vladimir Putin's interests in all this? Discord in Nato – which has already happened to an extent. A weakening of the EU and Britain.
Maybe Borowitz is closer to the mark than we think.
A DRY statistic. The weekend before Easter, Maritzburg College sent 25 rugby teams to Pretoria Boys' High. All 25 won their matches.
Playful emails between Maritzburg and Pretoria have ensued. One Pretoria father declared: "I enjoyed the day's rugby like I enjoy a day at the dentist."
There's a song about it: Marching To Pretoria.
DISASTER in the Free State? A message comes this way from one Sonette Diedericks to Parys Nuus & Inligting (Parys News & Information).
"Weet iemand iets van die kerk wat afgebrand het?" (Does anyone know anything about the church that burned down?)
Ah, Parys, the Paris of the Free State.
ROB Nicolai, Howick's resident theoretical physicist, says the authorities in Paris have questioned all personnel on site at Notre Dame Cathedral to try to discover what caused the fire.
Quasimodo said: "I never saw anything suspicious but I have a hunch."
WHICH recalls the riddle: What's greasy and flaps about church steeples?
The lunchpack of Notre Dame.
INVESTMENT analyst Dr James Greener takes issue with Pakamani Hadebe, the new CEO at Eskom, for saying: "Surprises at Eskom are over".
"One would think that the message to keep one's head down and mouth shut would by now be carved into the large mahogany desk in the corner office at Megawatt Park. Or just scrawled in lipstick on the mirror in the en-suite bathroom.
"There are just so many skeletons in so many cupboards in that business that surprises are never over.
"What about the company's debt book? A huge concern both for Eskom and the whole nation's credit rating."
THIS fellow is in a bookshop. He approaches a woman behind the counter.
"I say, do you keep stationery?"
"No, usually I wriggle a bit."
Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter.William Ralph Inge