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Popular Elsewhere

15:23 UK time, Monday, 11 July 2011

A look at the stories ranking highly on various news sites.

The News of the World hacking scandal has brought back to popularity an extraordinary tale about working for the paper from 2002.

Journalist Charles Begley explained in the Independent that he had been made Harry Potter correspondent at the paper:

"This entailed the changing of my name by deed poll and prancing around like a transvestite with a schoolboy fetish. My transformation from "mild-mannered reporter" to prepubescent wizard was published across two pages of the News of the World on 9 September."

"Pottergate" is also in the Telegraph's most-read list. It says on 11 September Begley claimed that the editor - then named Rebekah Wade - ordered him to dress up as Harry Potter, despite momentous news. In 2002, the paper published the transcripts of his phone conversations with his editors where Begley explains the situation:

"That was on Tuesday, September 11. It was the afternoon, less than three hours after [the attacks]. I went into her office and Andy [Coulson, the deputy editor] was on the sofa and Rebekah was on the phone. Andy asked me where was my Harry Potter suit and I made some excuse, saying: it's not here, it's in the photo studio. [Actually], it was in the office, but it was hardly appropriate for a journalist to be prancing about as Harry Potter. Andy told me I should always have my Harry Potter gear around, in case of a Harry Potter emergency, and told me that the morning after, I was to dress up for conference as Harry Potter. So, at that time, [when] we were working on the assumption that up to 50,000 people had been killed, I was required to parade myself around morning conference, dressed as Harry Potter."

Despite there being over nine months to go until the US presidential election, the Republicans nominations are top of the Guardian's most read list.
That's because "tea-party darling" Michele Bachmann managed to stumble into backing a pledge with questionable views on slavery. The paper says signing a marriage vow put together by an evangelical group seemed a "no brainer". Only, on closer inspection, in transpired the vow contained this phrase:

"Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President."

The Guardian says the lesson is "before you sign anything, read the small print".


If every generation has a shared life defining moment then, Susan Gregory Thomas supposes in a popular Wall Street Journal article, for Generation X it is the question: "When did your parents get divorced?"

This, she suggests, has created a generation of people like her - born between 1965 and 1980 - whose worst childhood fear is divorce and as such are determined for it not to happen to them. Indeed, divorce rates in the US are the lowest since 1970. She says a trend in older marriages and people cohabiting before they get married indicate people want to know what they are getting into before they tie the knot. Susan Gregory Thomas suggests being part of Generation X explains why there was so much time between the breakdown of her marriage and her divorce.

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