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Radio France Internationale publishes obituaries of people still alive


image copyrightPA Media

image captionThe Queen, who is very much alive, was on the list published by mistake

A French radio station has apologised after publishing the obituaries of several prominent – and alive – people, including the Queen.

Others on the list that went live prematurely on the website of Radio France Internationale included Clint Eastwood, Pele and Brigitte Bardot.

A “technical problem” led to the publication, RFI said.

“We offer our apologies to the people concerned and to you who follow and trust us,” the broadcaster added.

Broadcasters and media outlets often prepare obituary material in order to be able to publish it promptly when a death is announced.

The problem occurred when RFI was moving its website to a different content management system, according to its statement.

It said “around a hundred” draft stories were published in error – not just to its own site but to partner sites including Google and Yahoo.

‘Major bug’

French businessman Bernie Tapie, 77, who was on the list of people who had their death notice published by RFI, has had his obituary published on at least two other occasions by other news outlets.

Others who made the cut on this occasion included Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, former US President Jimmy Carter and Cuba’s Raul Castro.

None of them are currently dead. RFI has said it is “mobilising to rectify this major bug”.

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