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Last Updated: Friday, 14 November, 2003, 17:47 GMT
10 things we didn't know this time last week
10 Leaves by Harriet Janes

It's easy to lose track of the news. So at the end of the week, it's good to keep an eye on some of those things which shouldn't go unnoticed.

If you spot something you think should be included next week, send it to us using the form at the bottom of the page.

1. George Bush's visit to London next week is, according to Buckingham Palace, the first ever state visit to the UK by a US president. So what makes it different from a normal presidential visit? Well, the invitation comes from the Queen rather than the prime minister, and there's a bit more pageantry. But apart from that, not much.

2. Author J D Salinger bans publishers of Catcher in the Rye from having images on the cover, or describing it as "a classic".

3. Michael Portillo and Diane Abbott go way back - they were in the same production of Macbeth at school, playing Macduff and Lady Macduff.

4. The tides in the UK are rising 3mm on average a year, thanks in part to rising sea levels and the fact that the south coast is slowly tilting down as Scotland rises on the ice melting further north.

Officials take sick tiger from sanctuary [pic courtesy International Fund for Animal Welfare]
One of 24 tigers to be rescued from a New Jersey garden
5. There are only 5,000 Bengal tigers in the wild - but up to 10,000 are thought to live in backyards and basements in the US.

6. The Icelandic are the happiest people in the world.

7. The last time Mr Bush dined with the Queen was at the White House when his father was president. According to Time magazine, he wore cowboy boots emblazoned with "God Save The Queen" on them, and asked Her Majesty if she had any black sheep in her family. In a bid to avoid embarrassment, Barbara Bush apparently told the Queen she need not answer.

If you're in the UK, you can see 10 Things at the weekend on Ceefax, page 129
8. Why do The Kumars at Number 42 live at that particular numbered house? It's because of creator Sanjeev Bhaskar's affection for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which of course identified the number as the answer to the ultimate question.

9. Until last weekend, no Royal babies had ever been born in an NHS hospital.

10. When Sir Ian McKellen was lobbying then Home Secretary Michael Howard about the controversial Section 28, which forbids the promotion of homosexuality in schools, Mr Howard asked for the actor's autograph for his children. With a smile on his face, but with his lobbying having failed, McKellen says he wrote :"F*** off, I'm gay."

If you see something you think should be included next week, let us know using the form below.

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Disclaimer: The BBC may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published.


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