The Best and the Worst of the British Press

Politician and best-selling novelist Jeffrey Archer forged his diaries and paid a friend 20,000 pounds ($28,500) to provide him with a false alibi to help rebut allegations he had sex with a prostitute, reports The Guardian.

The revelations were made Wednesday in a British courtroom, where Lord Archer is on trial on two counts of perjury, perverting the course of justice and using a false instrument.

The charges stem from a libel settlement he won against the Daily Star tabloid in 1987. He was awarded the equivalent of more than $700,000 in damages over allegations that he had sex with a prostitute.

Archer is a Conservative peer in the House of Lords. He served as the deputy party chairman for Conservative Party in the 1980s under then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. In 1999, he abandoned a bid to become London's mayor.

100 Days of Foot-and-Mouth

The foot-and-mouth epidemic is going to get worse before it gets better, reports The Times.

Professor David King, Britain's chief scientific adviser, gave this surprising message Wednesday as the Ministry of Agriculture, attempting to contain a new surge of cases in Yorkshire, north England, urged farmers not to relax precautions in a mistaken belief their livestock was safe.

One new case was confirmed Wednesday, leaving a total of 1,661 confirmed infection sites and a further 6,132 contiguous farms whose animals have been slaughtered to restrict the spread of the disease.

In the 100 days since the first case was reported, more than 3.1 million animals have been culled.

The Queen Travels to Norway

From BritArt to BritPop, Queen Elizabeth II noted the Norwegian appetite for all things British in the second day of her visit to the Scandinavian country, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The queen, on a state visit as guests of her royal cousins, said, "We may tease each other about the Viking era, but the Norse settlers had a lasting influence on our language and customs."

The warm relationship between the queen and King Harald, the great-grandson of Britain's King Edward VII and her third cousin, was evident during her official welcome in Oslo. He greeted her with a kiss on both cheeks, a familiarity usually extended only to family. His wife, Queen Sonja, did the same.

Forget Flowers, Women Want Toys

The Daily Express reports the days of wooing women with candy and flowers are over; today's women would much rather have gadgets.

They cite an experiment done at the University of Hertforshire where scientists, in a series of experiments monitoring a woman's reaction to certain types of presents, found that high-tech toys aroused the greatest response.

Six out of the 10 women tested said their love lives suffered if they did not have their mobile phone or palmtop computer with them.

Tooth in Ear

As he tried to earn money from the tooth fairy, an 11-year-old British boy got an earful, reports The Sun.

Schoolboy Rory O'Shea put his molar under his pillow, in hopes of getting money from the tooth fairy.

When he woke up, Rory noticed there was no money and no tooth. Unfortunately, the tooth was lodged in his ear.

"When I first realized it was in my ear, I tried getting it out with my finger. Then my older brother Sean tried a needle, but that just pushed it in further," the boy told The Sun. After a first failed medical attempt and eight painful days later, the tooth was finally removed using a general anesthetic and a hook to get it out.

Rory's father said, "We usually put a 1-pound coin under the pillow in the morning. But this time I gave him a 5-pound Millennium coin called a crown — a crown for a crown."