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Winners of the Week

Our four-legged friends win paws down this week. First we hear news of the world's first millionaire cocker spaniel. The fragrant canine, Samantha, inherited her owner's pounds 4m fortune while his live-in (two-legged) lover, described as his "good friend" is left pinning back the dog's ears for the rest of its life for a paltry pounds 40,000 per year. Samantha may be man's best friend but she is certainly not woman's. Then, later in the week, pets and Jilly Cooper rejoiced at the proposed advent of the "passport for pets", the culmination of Screaming Lord Sutch's vision, "because pets need a break too". I am sure Buddy the First Pet would be the first to agree. Meanwhile, better watch out for those

unaccompanied Mynahs.

Loser of the Week

Yesterday, the loser of the decade removed his disguise, waved good-bye to special branch and officially came out of "hiding" for the first time since 1989 at a press conference to mark the Iranian government's dissociation from his personal fatwa. Rather than being good news for the arch self- publicist Salman Rushdie - who has not, apparently, missed a party these past nine years - I imagine this rather marks the end of his notoriety. Now that there is no chance of Islamic extremists breaking up a party, the flow of invites will surely run dry and he may well have to go back to writing books.

Fad of the Week

The dieting fad has grabbed the world by its love handles again this week. From the amazing slimming pets in Russia, to the leader of the sugar- free world's endorsement of a certain soft drink (pictured) and the arrival on our shores of the latest lifestyle enhancing drug, Xenical (we can now have our cake and eat it), it would seem that it is not just pro- Europeans who want to loose the pound.

Sweet of the Week

The Altoid, hottest mint in the world, favoured by Monica Lewinsky for inappropriate breath freshening.

Image of the Week

Elizabeth R was on the ball this week, literally. Mid-Malaysian coup, our gracious monarch took time out to sign a Manchester United fan's football. Perhaps she has been taking the recommendations of Demos just a step too far. And was she aware that as she was putting marker to leather a furore was raging in Britain about the loss of her head? Still, it may be Charles' head we are doing without by the time we enter the single currency.

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