Gates hit by Belgian phantom flanners

Bill Gates got more than a taste of Belgium's reputation for haute cuisine last night when he was attacked by a custard pie thrower in Brussels.

Showing unerring accuracy, the phantom flanner struck a direct blow on the Microsoft chief, leaving his suit and face liberally covered. The trademark spectacles were quickly removed and a clean-up operation commenced but not soon enough to prevent the world's paparazzi bagging some embarrassing shots.

The thrower was part of a gang notorious for pelting VIPs deemed guilty of hubris. Gates was in the Belgian capital as part of an informal tour of world leaders.