Random British Couple 'Rewarded Handsomely' For Letting Mayor Ruin Their Wedding

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Mayor Bloomberg held a press conference today to announce that the city hosted 50 million tourists this year. As guests of honor for the conference, the city invited British couple Craig Johnson and Lucy Foulger. The pair had been married only an hour earlier.

Johnson and Foulger, those gentle souls, were merely cogs in Bloomberg's idea to have the symbolic 50 millionth tourists attend the presser. Tourism officials apparently wanted to bring in British people for this role since the U.K. is the number one source of tourism for NYC. And thus Johnson and Foulger's wedding day was "hijacked" -- though not without its perks:

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London's Name For Its 2012 Olympic Village: 'East Village'

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London2012.com
Artists rendering of London's Olympic Village.
A new East Village is about to spring up all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. London is hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics and they're naming their Olympic Village the "East Village," somewhat unimaginatively. East Village 2.0 will house 6,000 people and when the games are over it'll be a big cheesy development, kind of like our East Village over here.

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Hugh Grant's Middle Name is Actually 'Mungo'

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Not a lot to report here except this: Hugh Grant, lovable blinky British actor and phone hacking victim, is actually named Hugh John Mungo Grant. We discovered this while reading about Grant's testimony in the Leveson inquiry into media ethics by British red-tops in a no less reputable source than the BBC: "Hugh John Mungo Grant, to use the full name he gave the court, was determined to place many newspaper publishers in the dock."

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British Royals Usher In Bold New Era: Women Rule!

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The British monarchy has finally changed an antiquated set of rules that everyone had forgotten about. Up until now, the rules for British royal succession were that sons trumped daughters no matter what, even if the daughters were older. There also was, until today, a rule barring would-be monarchs from marrying Roman Catholics. Now the entire Commonwealth of 16 nations who still, in 2011, consider Queen Elizabeth their sovereign, have agreed to changing the rules at Prime Minister David Cameron's behest.

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New York Has Lost Its Spot as the World Fashion Capital Because of Kate Middleton

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A number of confusing metrics have been recalculated and re-algorithmed (sp?) and numbers have been crunched and lo and behold, New York has lost its spot as the number one fashion city in the world -- to London. London! And it's all because of Kate Middleton's unprecedented popularity. The Global Language Monitor, a media analytics company, has bestowed the top spot on its "Global Fashion Capitals" list to London this year due to its mysterious number-crunching; the British capital is followed by New York, then Paris, Milan, L.A., and Hong Kong. Although we are Kate Middleton experts, we're not in the business of fashion writing, so bear with us.

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David Leigh, Guardian Journalist, Admitted to Phone Hacking

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via
David Leigh
David Leigh, an assistant editor at the Guardian, admitted to hacking voicemails in an article written in 2006 that just seems to have been dug up. Leigh listened to the messages of a "corrupt arms company executive," and said his aim was to expose "bribery and corruption." Interestingly, his paper was the one that broke the empire-burning News of the World hacking scandal in the first place. More »

James Hipwell, Former Daily Mirror Staffer, Says Hacking Was "Endemic" Under Piers Morgan

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A former reporter at the U.K. tabloid the Daily Mirror told the Independent that phone hacking was "endemic" during his time there, and that he would testify in a public inquiry ordered by Prime Minister David Cameron. Hipwell worked at the Mirror while current CNN anchor Piers Morgan was editor. Morgan has denied any knowledge of or involvement in phone hacking while the Mirror was under his editorship. More »

Was William Shakespeare A Pothead?

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Did Shakespeare get the inspiration for his plays and sonnets from smoking weed? A South African anthropologist named Francis Thackeray is seeking permission from the Church of England to exhume Shakespeare's body and analyze it, determining whether the Bard liked to chill with a fat joint every now and then. Science serves an important purpose in our society by answering these urgent questions.

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William and Kate Immortalized in L.E.S. Mural

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This excellent mural was spotted on the corner of Clinton and E. Houston by our very own Francesca Stabile. It really nails the essence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, don't you think?

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

Royal Wedding Roundup: Guest List Confirmed, Beer Banned, Roses Planned

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via Kate Middleton For The Win
The Most Important Wedding Of Our Time is less than a week away, and the official guest list and seating plan have been confirmed. Not a lot of surprises among the 1,900 lucky invitees: Elton John, David Beckham and Posh Spice, Guy Ritchie, other royals from around the world (elected heads of state usually don't get an invite). A couple unexpected choices in soul singer Joss Stone, who I literally forgot about for the past five years until this very moment, and Mr. Bean, who is reportedly a close personal friend of Prince Charles.

The question on everyone's mind (right?): How and where will these people be seated?!

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