Latest Bin Laden Tape Reveals Prog-Rock Direction

OSAMA Bin Laden has swapped his hate-fuelled rhetoric for lengthy progressive rock jams, his new audio tape has revealed.

The Al Qaeda chief is believed to have become disillusioned with killing everyone and instead wants to 'explore a new sonic direction', producing a batch of Yes/ELP-influenced tracks linked by the concept of how whales are really time machines.

Security analyst Tom Logan said: "I think this tape is genuine. We know that Bin Laden's close consort Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was heavily into prog, favouring Caravan, It Bites and early Van Der Graaf Generator, so maybe he'd made Bin Laden a compilation tape and got him into it that way.

"This sounds like it's got Bin Laden on vocals and lead guitar with the rest of the band made up of senior Al Queda officials. Intelligence sources believe it's Deputy Operations Chief Ayman al-Zawahiri on drums, and I have to say he's pretty good, a bit like a young Phil Collins."

Al Qaeda fans' reaction to the new tape has been mixed. One devotee said: "I'd just bought a shitload of  fertiliser and was on my way to blow up Tie Rack in Bridgwater when I get a message from my handler saying it was all off and that I should nip into Oxfam and see if they've got any Rick Wakeman albums."

However hook-handed radical cleric Abu Hamzu has surprised his followers by describing the new Bin Laden output as 'intensely groovesome'.

He added: "I used to be a pretty decent bassist before I got my hands blown off fiddling about with bombs.

"When I was doing civil engineering at Brighton Poly we had a band doing Pink Floyd and Alan Parsons Project covers and some of our own stuff, which was more Hawkwind-influenced but with a jazz fusion twist."

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French Vindicated By Manky Shower Study

AVERAGE life expectancy can be extended by up to 10 years as long as you are willing to reek like a Frenchman, it was claimed last night.

A new study found that showers are filled with deadly bacteria, vindicating the French habit of using them as a place to string up dead geese.

Research director Professor Henry Brubaker said: "Every time you turn on a shower you may as well be smearing great handfuls of dog mess into your chest.

"Of course the French will claim to be ahead of the curve but the fact is they know nothing of shower based bacteria and simply enjoy stewing in their own effluent."

He added: "Nevertheless it is better to carry the heady stench of the Gaul than expose yourself to the sort of tiny risks that generate gigantic headlines."

The French currently enjoy one of the highest rates of life expectancy in the developed world with many experts claiming they would live even longer but for their habit of driving to each other's birthday parties on the wrong-side of the road while wearing a blindfold.

Jean-Pierre Clichy, a smallholder from Gascony, said: "Eet ees a most excellent place for ze 'anging of ze geese. Ah also use ze tray for growing ze champignons and fattening ze rabbeets.

"Eef ah was to use eet for washing myself like some American woman ma cheese would lose eets distinctive flavour."

Architect Claude Dufarge insisted Parisiens use their showers in a more sophisticated fashion than their rural counterparts, adding: "Ah 'ave a cubicle een ma appartement. Ah use eet as a place for contemplation and for 'aving sex wiz ma neighbour's 19 year-old daughter, after which ah smoke une cigarette and loathe myself."

Meanwhile the relatively hygienic Japanese still top the table for the longest average lifespan, but experts say that is down to a lifestyle which includes a large amount of oily fish in their showers.