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April Fool's Day: 10 stories that look like pranks but aren't

woman in pillow fight, vodka shot and Pamela Anderson Image copyright Getty/Reuters

It's hard to know what to believe on April Fool's Day as there are are many stories that seem rather strange but are in fact genuine.

Here is a round-up of some of this year's more suspicious stories that are apparently true.

1. Today is international pillow fight day.Yes, really. Cities taking part include Hong Kong, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Chicago, Bangalore and Hull. Rules include no hitting anyone without a pillow.

More details (Hull Daily Mail)

2. Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson "loves" Julian Assange. It might seem an unlikely relationship but "it's no secret", according to the actress. Writing a blog post, she said Mr Assange is trying to "free the world by educating it". She goes on: "It is a romantic struggle, I love him for this".

More details (Daily Star)

3. Putting Shakespeare lyrics to rap music can help pupils revise. Studytracks are songs with lyrics recorded to help pupils to remember what they have learnt in class. Students download an app which features tracks covering the Year 10 and 11 syllabus.

More details (Times)

4. A cat's life was saved with a vodka shot. Vets had to give seven-year-old cat Princess a "vodka drip" to save her from being poisoned by brake fluid. Princess needed 24-hour intensive care and was treated with vodka which worked as an antidote to the poison.

More details (Daily Mirror)

5. Cricketer Gary Ballance may have to miss a championship match because he is colour blind. He could be forced to miss Yorkshire's pink-ball County Championship fixture against Surrey as he could struggle to see the ball and differentiate it from the grass. "If I can't see it, I can't see it. There's nothing I can do," he said.

More details (Times)

6. A teenager has had a "leaving party" for his leg. Thomas Green has had 20 unsuccessful operations to treat a venous malformation - a network of veins behind his left knee that have bled into his joints. He is now having his leg removed. His parents threw his leg a "goodbye" party, complete with a cake in the shape of a leg.

More details (Daily Mirror)

7. An 82-year-old grandma rocks it as a professional DJ in Japan. After 50 years running a restaurant, Sumiko Iwamuro discovered her talent at a birthday party for her son. Her musical tastes include rock, techno jazz and French chansons. Ms Iwamuro, who goes by the name of DJ Sumirock, plays at a club in the Kabukicho district of Tokyo.

More details (Times)

8. China bans long beards. New measures which include prohibiting "abnormally" long beards have been introduced in the far western region of Xinjiang in what the Chinese government describes as a campaign against Islamist extremism.

More details (BBC China)

9. A woman who ate chicken nuggets and chips every day for 24 years has been cured of food phobia after an hour of hypnotherapy. Louise Newton, 28, would gag if she tried anything other than her diet of dry cereal, plain bread, crisps, chocolate and her everyday dinner of battered chicken and chips.

More details (Sun)

10. For a five star hotel stay with a difference, thrill seekers in the Netherlands can now spend the night in a crane. The Crane Hotel Faralda offers three suites - which are up to 50m above the ground - and a hot tub on the top deck.

More details (Daily Express)

Compiled by Cherry Wilson and Laura Lea

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