Always believe everything you read in the newspapers...

2nd April 2009, Comments 0 comments

While many failed to cross international boundaries of humour -- and some were in such appalling taste they cannot be repeated -- the best used just enough facts to hoodwink audiences into sometimes angry responses.

Paris -- China bought up Australian cricket, Concorde headed back to the skies and Madagascar's new leader announced a DJ set in Kenya as media worldwide planted false news stories on April Fool's Day.

While many failed to cross international boundaries of humour -- and some were in such appalling taste they cannot be repeated -- the best used just enough facts to hoodwink audiences into sometimes angry responses.

Echoing sensitivities at Chinese takeovers within Australia's mining sector, a story on the Herald Sun's website said the symbolic 100,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground would be renamed the Mekong.

While the story quoted a spokeswoman named April Fulton, some 200 were moved sufficiently to comment before midday -- most expressing anger.

"Let's just give up this whole country to the Asians and be done with it," posted "Mister Master."

The director of the Paris Museum of Air and Space admitted late Tuesday making up an announcement, posted on its website, about a new two-hour Concorde flight in June.

"This hoax launched by the Museum of Air and Space can produce ideas and make the dream live on," Gerard Feldzer told AFP.

Concorde was taken out of service in 2003. A new flight would cost two million euros (2.6 million dollars), Feldzer added.

In Kenya, the Daily Metro took a swipe at Madagascar's new leader Andry Rajoelina, a 34-year-old former disc jockey who ousted President Marc Ravalomanana with the army's support last month.

Alongside a front-page picture of the baby-faced leader wearing headphones, the newspaper announced that "DJ Raja" would spin his trademark brand of "Rastamanana" beats next weekend in the Kenyan resort of Malindi.

British newspaper The Guardian, meanwhile, poked fun at the global press industry's troubles, announcing it was to cease printing after 188 years and switch to publishing via social networking phenomenon Twitter.

The paper gave examples of how it might have reported on major events in world history:

-- "1940: W Churchill giving speech NOW - "we shall fight on the beaches... we shall never surrender" check YouTube later for the rest";

-- "1961: Listening 2 new band "The Beatles";

-- "1989: Berlin Wall falls! Majority view of Twitterers = it's a historic moment! What do you think??? Have your say".

Latvian Internet portal Delfi made light of the Baltic countries' suffering amid global financial meltdown, announcing that Latvian banknotes were now available to carry advertising.

Norway's Vaart Land told simply how a baby would need baptising again because the ceremony had taken place using a bottle of sparkling lemon-flavoured mineral water owing to broken church taps.

And German FFH radio announced to listeners that their famously childless Chancellor Angela Merkel was pregnant at the age of 54. Merkel has always said she was "too busy" to start a family.

Several listeners called in to congratulate the chancellor, in London for the G20 summit.

AFP/Expatica

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