Leading article: Days like this

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The Independent Online

To Mr Van Morrison: an apology. Sincere apologies for erroneously reporting that you had fathered a fourth child. If it's any consolation, many would consider it a complement to be thought capable of adding to the global population at the mature age of 64.

And considering the proclivity of rock stars of your vintage to produce offspring in recent years, the news that was announced on your official website seemed, well, eminently plausible.

But no excuses. It's no good those in the media complaining that there will always be days like this. We must endeavour to move from the dark end of the street, to the bright side of the road.

And that will, clearly, entail learning the lesson that not everything on the internet – even "official" websites – is to be taken on trust. And on that appropriately sceptical note, we would like to wish all our readers a very happy and peaceful new year.