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Fracking at the palace, One Direction haircuts and U.N. peacekeepers in Scotland: April Fool's Day round-up

By Bryony Jones, CNN
updated 6:14 PM EDT, Tue April 1, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • April Fool's Day sparks spoof news reports and phoney product launches
  • This year's best included reports that 1D have been ordered to cut their hair prior to North Korea tour
  • Scientists at CERN in Switzerland say the organization's logo will now include a Justin Bieber selfie
  • Let us know which hoaxes had you fooled in the comments section below

London (CNN) -- It's that time of year again: You can't open a paper or click online without being subjected to April Foolery, from hard-to-swallow hoaxes to nearly-believable news.

So did you spot the spoofs? Check out our favorites, and nominate your top tricks in the comments.

They may be the biggest boyband in the world, but Britain's Daily Mirror says that won't help One Direction's plans to tour North Korea -- unless, that is, Harry Styles and co. are willing to swap their super-styled locks for Kim Jong-un's short-back-and-sides hairdo.

The paper says that with the band unlikely to meet his demands, Kim is launching an "X Factor"-style search for the North Korean equivalent, "Un Direction."

Financial woes aren't normally a joking matter, but the UK's Sun newspaper reports that the Queen has found a novel solution to boost the monarchy's income: fracking in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

No joke, laughter is good
A special message from the White House
April Fools' pranks from Google, Twitter

Other British papers see the upcoming vote on Scottish independence as ripe for giggles, with the Guardian revealing that, should Scots back a break with the rest of the United Kingdom later this year, the nation plans to show its solidarity with mainland Europe by switching to driving on the right.

The paper says a newly-independent Scotland would scrap its current road signs, ditching "the famous road sign font known as 'Transport' with a new Celtic-tinged typeface, 'Proclaimer'."

And street signs aren't the only thing set to be dumped: The Daily Telegraph reports that, should his campaign succeed, pro-independence leader Alex Salmond will replace the Queen on Scottish coins, with the currency to be known as the "Salmond Sterling."

The Independent, meanwhile, announces that the U.N. is drawing up plans to send in peacekeepers in the event of post-independence tensions between Scotland and England.

Quoting unnamed sources, the paper says the U.N. is concerned a "Yes" vote could result in "pre-arranged 'face-offs,' modelled on the film 'Braveheart,' between rival militias who it is feared could travel to towns such as Gretna Green and Berwick-upon-Tweed for weekend showdowns."

The Daily Mail reports that those south of the border are also making plans for life after a split, with "secret government papers" revealing just what the Union Jack would look like without the blue and white Scottish flag, known as the saltire.

In Australia, there is news that Hollywood bigwigs had found inspiration for the latest big-screen biopic down under, with former Prime Minister John Howard set to be immortalized on film.

The New Daily said the movie, which had been given the working title "Man of Steel," was backed by The Weinstein Company, which also supported Margaret Thatcher movie "The Iron Lady."

The site claims Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins were vying for the role of cricket-loving PM Howard, with Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey lined up to play former U.S. President George W. Bush, and Meryl Streep in the running as Howard's wife Jeanette.

It isn't just newspapers -- companies were in on the April Fool's act too, with carmaker BMW posting an advert for its latest product, the BMW ZZZ Series -- a high-performance baby crib.

And Amazon has reportedly bowed to pressure from old-school book fans keen to combine the convenience of an e-reader with the smell of real books: behold the Kindle Paperscent.

The device, a faux-leather cover which wraps around the e-book, is reported to use the same technology as that in room scent diffusers -- and comes with a choice of old and new book smells.

British baker Warburtons took to its Facebook page to announce plans for what would surely be the best new offices since sliced bread -- two toast-shaped tower blocks situated either side of London's famous Swiss Re tower -- dubbed the "gherkin" by locals -- creating a skyscraper sandwich on the city's skyline.

And if that wasn't enough to whet your appetite, Australian breakfast spread Vegemite -- known around the world as an acquired taste -- unveiled a new energy drink, iDrink2.1, suggesting fans of the distinctive flavour "Swap your Vegemite toast for this when you're on the go."

Talking of being on the move, London's Docklands Light Railway revealed plans to make commuters' lives more fun, by adding a loop-the-loop section in the Canary Wharf business district.

CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider and some of the world's smartest scientists, picked April 1 to debut a whole new look, announcing that from now on the organization's website, and all its official communications, would be presented in Comic Sans font.

In a statement on its website, scientists at CERN announced that they would change its image by adding a Justin Bieber selfie to its logo; it also plans that in future "especially important physics results [will] be accompanied online by animations of little clappy hands."

So which April Fool's Day efforts do you think are worthy of applause? Let us know in the comments below.

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