A group of pranksters handed out more than 1.2 million fake New York Times newspapers mainly in New York City and Los Angeles on Wednesday with a front page story declaring “Iraq War Ends” and another on the indictment of US President George W. Bush on treason charges
The elaborate 14-page spoof, dated July 4, next year, had stories on a raft of other US liberal fantasies: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice apologizes that the fuss about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction was invented and Americans are finally getting national health insurance. Its front-page motto read: “All the news we hope to print” — a play on the Times’ famous “All the news that’s fit to print.”
There was also a full page fake ad on page three from Exxon Mobil saying the firm applauded the end of the Iraq war and that peace was “an idea the world can profit from.”
“It is fake and we are looking into it,” Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis said.
There is also an equally realistic looking New York Times Web site (www.nytimes-se.com), including fake ads for De Beers and GM.
A statement sent from the fake edition’s Web site said creating the newspaper took six months and that it was printed at six different presses and then given to thousands of volunteers to distribute.
Web site www.gawker.com has identified the pranksters behind the stunt as The Yes Men, a liberal group famous for practical jokes. Gawker.com said The Yes Men also sent e-mails to spread the word.
The Yes Men have pulled off pranks including posing as Exxon Mobil and National Petroleum Council representatives to deliver a speech at a Canadian oil conference and masquerading as WTO officials announcing they were disbanding the body.
They have also posed as federal housing officials at a New Orleans event with the city’s mayor and the governor of Louisiana. Their exploits are detailed on the group’s Web site (www.theyesmen.org).
Some examples of The Yes Men’s work are now on display at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum as part of the 2008 Taipei Biennial. One video installation shows how BBC World was duped in an interview by a member of the group posing as a Dow Chemical Co representative apologizing for the 1984 Bhopal disaster in India.
Another video shows “The SurvivaBall” supposedly made by Halliburton as a response to the problems posed by “global warning.”
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (小米) have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet,” “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement,” Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday. The capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the “European Union region,” but can be turned on remotely at any time,
CLOSE COOPERATION: A House of Representatives bill suggests inviting Taiwan’s navy to participate in the world’s largest international maritime military exercises The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed its annual defense policy bill, which includes provisions recommending that Taiwan be included in next year’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) and enhanced cooperation between Taiwan and the US National Guard. The House approved the US$777.9 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 in a 316-113 vote. The 1,390-page bill includes three major provisions related to Taiwan under sections 1243, 1247 and 1248. Section 1248 recommends that the US invite Taiwan’s navy to participate in next year’s RIMPAC. Taiwan has never been invited to participate in the event, which is the world’s largest
‘FIGHT FOR VICTORY’: Eric Chu said his election victory would be the beginning of the DPP’s worries and that he would open all channels of communication with China Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) was yesterday elected Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman in a four-way race that included outgoing chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣). Chu, 60, garnered 85,164 votes, or 45 percent of the 187,998 KMT members who cast ballots. Sun Yat-sen School president Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) trailed behind with 60,632 votes, followed by Chiang with 35,090 votes and former Changhua County commissioner Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) with 5,133 votes. Voter turnout was 50.71 percent. This will be Chu’s second time heading the party. He was elected KMT chairman in an unopposed by-election in January 2015 and resigned in January
BACK IN BUSINESS: Amusement arcades, Internet cafes, KTVs and board game venues could also reopen next week if the COVID-19 situation does not worsen, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday eased some COVID-19 restrictions for public transportation, performances, exhibitions and sports event venues, effective immediately, as it also announced its conditions for reopening some banned recreational venues, including KTVs and amusement arcades, from Tuesday next week. As the local COVID-19 situation is under control, some ministries have modified the disease prevention guidelines for the businesses they supervise, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. “Starting from this week, eating and drinking will be allowed in the stations of Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp and the Taiwan Railways Administration,” Chen