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Clare Spencer | 14:32 UK time, Thursday, 20 January 2011

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

Most read on the Telegraph is news that French President Nicolas Sarkozy was jeered after suggesting the Alsace region was still in Germany. The article goes on to explain Alsace is historically one of the most strategically crucial regions in France and was contested constantly between France and Germany during the 19th and 20th Century.

Sun readers are catching up on the cage fighter Alex Reid's connections to drug smuggling. The paper reveals he was held by police in 2006 and later released without charge after cocaine worth £2m was found on a yacht he part-owned.

Most read on Ireland's Independent is the story of how a collection of funny pictures of cats led to a $30m cash injection. Cast as the internet's "most surreal" success story, the founder of lol cats, Ben Hur, has received the venture capital funding to hire more staff on the project.

The Guardian's most read story says the The King's Speech confirms a route to Oscar nomination. Jonathan Freedland argues a Brit who yearns for a statuette needs to play royal. For Americans, they have to rely on playing someone struggling with a disability or mental illness, a history of abuse and/or a foreign accent or, homosexuality.

American Idol's new season gets a scathing review in Washington Post's most read story. The paper claims new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez fail to change the show's predictability, which has the "same sob stories" as before.

Proving popular with Time readers is an essay on why China does capitalism better than the US. The argument laid out says the Chinese government, unlike the US, made tough long-term decisions to deal with the financial crisis.

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