The Best and Worst of the British Press

President Bush has revealed he was once mistaken for a Scottish shepherd boy by a group of Texan tourists.

But as The Times reports today, the former Texas governor was not "wool-fully" forthcoming about his Lone Star roots during the month he lived on a Scottish farm as a wee lad.

"I kept my mouth shut and gave them a little Scottish boy wave," Bush joked.

Striking a more serious note, Bush told the newspaper he was ready to take a more active role in the Northern Ireland peace process, and he called on the Irish Republican Army to disarm.

The president also says he will stand firm on his missile defense initiative and plans to reject the Kyoto treaty on global warming, despite intense international pressure.

Bush is due in Britain tonight. He will meet with Prime Minister Tony Blair and Queen Elizabeth II before heading to the Group of Eight summit of world leaders in Italy.

No Roman Holiday

All roads lead to Rome, but if you're headed for Genoa, don't count on catching the train.

The Financial Times reports officials in the Italian city have put the breaks on the train dubbed "protest express," which was believed to be carrying about 500 environmentalists and anti-globalization demonstrators to the G-8 summit.

With Bush and seven other key world leaders due to attend, summit organizers are taking several unprecedented security measuresy. Reportedly, surface-to-air missiles have even been set up at local airports.

Oh, Brother

The media sensation surrounding Britain's Big Brother TV program reached a fever-pitch this morning.

In a cruel twist of televised fate, Helen and Paul — the program's only seriously romantic couple so far — were both nominated for eviction from the house. The tabloids are buzzing with speculation, but not about which one will get the boot.

The Mirror headline declares "2 Days to Have Sex," while the Daily Star asks "Did the TV Pair Go All the Way?" Pictures in the three major tabloids suggest the two enjoyed a relatively innocent midnight cuddle.

Out of the Game

Speaking of evictions, Britain's Conservative Party rejected one of its rising stars in a "shock" vote for the party leadership Tuesday night.

News that former front-runner Michael Portillo finished third dominated the front pages of all major British papers today. The political obituaries of the former Margaret Thatcher protégé range from The Daily Telegraph's headline "Portillo's Dream Is Shattered," to the not-so-sympathetic banner in The Sun: "Portillo Is Destroyed."

Former Chancellor Kenneth Clarke's stunning come-from-behind first-place finish prompted the Daily Mail to proclaim "Return of the Big Beast."

The final vote will be held later this year.

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