Book author mystery: It’s been revealed that the Harry Potter author, JK Rowling, has secretly written a crime novel under a false male name. “The Cuckoo’s Calling” was published in April and is about a war veteran turned private investigator.
15 July 2013
It was something of a literary mystery. How was Robert Galbraith, a former military policeman, able to produce such an assured debut novel?
Extract from the book:
The face was crushed and swollen, one eye reduced to a pucker, the other showing as a sliver of dull white between distended lids. When the sequinned top she wore glittered in slight changes of light, it gave a disquieting impression of movement, as though she breathed again.
And now it turns out that Robert Galbraith is actually the nom de plume of none other than JK Rowling. The secret was only discovered when Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper realised that Galbraith and Rowling shared the same agent and editor. Computer analysis showed they used similar phrases and styles.
It was also not the first time Rowling had hidden her gender, having chosen to be called JK rather than Joanne when she was first published.
Rowling confessed. In mitigation, she said she wanted to know how her book would be received without her name and that she had found it a liberating experience.
The book had sold fifteen hundred copies before Sunday, and now the mystery has been solved it is number one in the Amazon best seller list.
Edward Snowden still in transit: Edward Snowden, the man who leaked information about US intelligence, is expected to meet with human rights groups in Moscow today. The former CIA contractor is wanted by the US on charges of giving away secrets about US spying schemes.
12 July 2013
He’s been stuck in the transit zone of Moscow airport for nearly three weeks – unable to enter Russia or to fly out. Now it appears that Edward Snowden has called a meeting at the airport to discuss his predicament.
Among those he has reportedly emailed invitations to are representatives of human rights organisations and prominent Russian lawyers. In one email, allegedly from Mr Snowden, which has been made public by the group Human Rights Watch, the 30-year-old American complained that the US government was waging an “unlawful campaign” to prevent him from securing asylum.
The head of the press office at Sheremetevo airport confirmed a meeting would take place in the transit area. It’s scheduled for 5 o’clock this afternoon Moscow time.
Andy Murray wins Wimbledon: Andy Murray has won his first Wimbledon title and ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s tennis champion by beating world number one, Novak Djokovic. His success could lead the way to making him one of the world’s highest earning sportsmen.
8 July 2013
Andy Murray will collect £1.6m in prize money for yesterday’s victory, but that’s a modest sum compared with the amount he could earn now his status as a national sporting hero has been sealed.
According to his manager, Simon Fuller, Murray’s victory is no less a triumph than winning the top prize in football. And he’s now admired not just as a sportsman but as a personality.
Andy Murray’s manager, Simon Fuller:
The public has warmed to Andy. As each year passes they understand him and they warm to him, and I think people got a little insight as to how big a heart he has and how sort of passionate he is about sport and what a truly great guy, and I think that, combined with winning on court, makes for a true superstar.
Murray’s already earning £15m over five years from sportswear sponsorship and he was reckoned to be worth a total of £32m even before yesterday’s victory.
If he now exploits ‘brand Murray’ to the full, marketing experts believe, he could earn £15m a year making him one of the highest-earning sportsmen in the world.
Twitter helps non-Arabic speakers: Twitter has launched a translation tool to help non-Arabic speakers understand what’s going on in Egypt. It automatically translates messages posted by leading figures in the protests into the reader’s own language.
5 July 2013
Many of the major players in the political turmoil that’s engulfed Egypt in recent days have large followings on Twitter. But for the most part, unsurprisingly, they post their messages in Arabic.
Now Twitter has launched a service that aims to spread their words to a wider international audience. It’s using a translation tool provided through Microsoft’s Bing search engine to convert Arabic messages into other languages. This meant, for example, that non-Egyptians had instant access to messages put on Twitter by former president Mohammed Morsi as he was ousted from power by the army.
Non-Egyptians can also follow the Twitter musings of other significant players such as Mohammed ElBaradei, the ex-UN atomic energy agency chief.
But Twitter admits its translations are not always 100% accurate. For example, the English version of the last tweet posted by former President Morsi ended with a word starting with the letters d-a-k-h-l-i-h-o-a, which neither made any sense nor appeared in any dictionary. Twitter describes its translation service as an “experiment“.
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