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Pranksters give out hoax N.Y. Times issue

NEW YORK, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- A band of pranksters said Wednesday they distributed 1.2 million copies of a hoax issue of The New York Times proclaiming the end of the Iraq war.

Leaders said in an announcement it took hundreds of independent writers, artists and activist to put the "special edition" together and thousands of volunteers to distribute copies in cities across the United States.

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The mock Times issue was dated July 4, 2009, and bore the banner headline "Iraq War Ends." Other made-up stories dealt with national healthcare and and corporate lobbying and pay issues.

The creators also put up a spoof Web site: http://www.nytimes-se.com/.

"We wanted to experience what it would look like, and feel like, to

read headlines we really want to read. It's about what's possible, if

we think big and act collectively," Steve Lambert, one of the

prank organizers, said in a news release.

Another member, Beka Economopoulos, added "It's up to all

of us now to make these headlines come true."

A number of groups were involved in the project: The Yes Men, the Anti-Advertising Agency, CODEPINK, United for Peace and Justice, Not An Alternative, May First/People Link, Improv Everywhere, Evil Twin and Cultures of Resistance.

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The organizers said the Times' response to being told of the fantasy issue was: "We are looking into it."

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