Specialist Desk Editor, World Desk, London
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Apr 1, 2013

April Fool becomes yet another marketing gimmick

LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) – The April Fool is dead. Or at
least the gentle jester of the common folk has been converted
into a corporate colossus controlled by global marketing
executives.

Companies around the world, from Google to BMW and Sony,
have adopted the tradition of goading the gullible on April 1 to
show their lighter sides and steal some free publicity.

Apr 1, 2013
Apr 1, 2013

April Fool crushed by hi-tech marketing…

LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) – The April Fool is dead.

Or at least the gentle jester of the common folk has
metastised into a corporate colossus controlled by global
marketing executives, bestriding the Internet to force familiar
brands ever deeper into the collective consciousness.

So while Google extended a tradition dating back, well, a
decade or so, in poking fun at its own ubiquity – introducing a
database of smells and shutting down its YouTube service – it
was fitting that old-fashioned, paper-based media poked fun on
Monday at the power of machines over our minds.

Mar 14, 2013
Mar 14, 2013

New pope? Unbelievers shrug, carp, titter

LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) – When a new man takes over the
leadership of more than a billion people, it’s hardly surprising
it was big news on Thursday. But, hold the front page – this
isn’t Pope Francis.

As in some other places where the Roman Catholic Church
carries little weight, 1.3 billion Chinese paid scant attention
to the Vatican; media in China focused rather on Communist party
chief Xi Jinping’s confirmation as head of state in Beijing.

Feb 11, 2013

Did medieval predecessor inspire Pope’s retirement?

LONDON (Reuters) – Pope Benedict XVI gazed out on the crowd packing the piazza of a small Italian town. Below him lay the bones of Celestine V, the last pontiff to choose to retire; above rose sunlit crags where the “hermit pope” took refuge from a troubled mediaeval world.

A few weeks after that visit in July 2010 to Sulmona, in the Abruzzo mountains, the then 83-year-old Benedict told a fellow German he would not hesitate to become the first pope since Celestine in 1294 to resign of his own free will, if he was no longer able – “physically, psychologically and spiritually” – to meet the demands of running the billion-strong Catholic Church.

Jan 18, 2013

Insight: Algerians suspect inside help in hostage raid

LONDON/ALGIERS (Reuters) – The In Amenas gas plant felt impregnable to many who worked there – walled in, hundreds of miles from anywhere and with the Algerian army constantly patrolling its desert approaches.

That was a mirage. Libya, an ex-police state turned arms bazaar and now open for jihad, lies just 50 empty miles away. And in any case, the enemy was probably already inside the gates.

Jan 18, 2013

Insight – Algerians suspect inside help in hostage raid

LONDON/ALGIERS (Reuters) – The In Amenas gas plant felt impregnable to many who worked there – walled in, hundreds of miles from anywhere and with the Algerian army constantly patrolling its desert approaches.

That was a mirage. Libya, an ex-police state turned arms bazaar and now open for jihad, lies just 50 empty miles away. And in any case, the enemy was probably already inside the gates.

Jan 18, 2013

Algerians suspect inside help in hostage raid

LONDON/ALGIERS, Jan 18 (Reuters) – The In Amenas gas plant
felt impregnable to many who worked there – walled in, hundreds
of miles from anywhere and with the Algerian army constantly
patrolling its desert approaches.

That was a mirage. Libya, an ex-police state turned arms
bazaar and now open for jihad, lies just 50 empty miles away.
And in any case, the enemy was probably already inside the
gates.

Oct 26, 2012

In shaky Syrian holiday truce, enemies eye victory

LONDON (Reuters) – Lakhdar Brahimi’s holiday truce may have saved Syrian lives on Friday, as government troops and rebels drew breath on several fronts – though dozens still shed blood on Eid al-Adha, the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice.

The U.N. envoy, discreetly downbeat since he succeeded a disillusioned Kofi Annan two months ago, could scarcely be surprised at ceasefire breaches that included tank fire and a car bombing; two previous attempts to end the conflict over the past year both quickly descended into ever more bitter fighting.

    • About Alastair

      "Editor for political and general news across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In 21 years with Reuters, have reported widely on conflict, elections, society, economics, culture and sport from postings in Paris, Moscow, Berlin, London, Baghdad and Jerusalem."
      Hometown:
      Edinburgh
      Joined Reuters:
      1990
      Languages:
      English, French, Russian, German, Italian
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