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.”
Three cases of Candida auris, a fungus that can cause a yeast infection known as candidiasis in humans, have been reported in Taiwan over the past few years, but they did not display drug resistance, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said yesterday. Lo made the statement at a news conference in Taipei, one day after the Washington Post reported that the potentially deadly fungus is spreading in US hospitals. The fungus was first discovered in Japan in 2009 and poses a danger to immunocompromised people, with an estimated mortality rate of 30 to 60 percent, Lo
‘COINCIDENCE’: The former president should keep in mind local and global response to his actions and abide by the law to safeguard national interests, the MAC said The Presidential Office yesterday confirmed that it has received an application from former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to visit China next week and would be discussing his security detail. “As the travel restrictions on former president Ma have expired, we respect his plan to pay respect to his ancestors in China,” Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said. “We will review his travel plan and consult concerned agencies to assist him in arranging his security detail.” “We also hope that Ma, as a former commander in chief of Taiwan, acts in a manner that aligns with national interests and does not hurt
‘DIRE’: Taiwan would not engage in ‘dollar diplomacy,’ the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, after China reportedly offered Honduras up to US$3 billion to establish relations The government yesterday recalled its ambassador to Honduras after the Central American nation sent its foreign minister to China, signaling that it would sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Suspicions concerning ties with Honduras are rife after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday last week wrote on Twitter that her country would pursue diplomatic ties with China. Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina traveled to China on Wednesday “to promote efforts for the establishment of diplomatic relations” on instructions from Castro, Reuters yesterday quoted Honduran presidential spokesman Ivis Alvarado as saying. The government “has decided to immediately recall the ambassador to Honduras
‘NOTHING NEW’: China should not use Tsai Ing-wen’s transits through the US as a pretext to step up aggressive activity in the Taiwan Strait, a Washington official said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to stop over in the US on her way to and from Central America next week, but her administration would not confirm a meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Tsai’s delegation is to leave Taipei on Wednesday next week and stop over in New York City, Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) told a news conference yesterday. Tsai is then to head to Guatemala on Saturday next week for talks with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and to meet with Taiwanese expatriates, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. On April 3, Tsai is scheduled to travel