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Potter spell

Paris, June 30 (Reuters): Harry Potter has cast such a spell over the French that they are snapping up JK Rowling’s latest book in English, rather than waiting for the translation.

The latest adventure of the child wizard became the first English-language book to top France’s best-seller list this week as parents and children decided they could not wait for the French translation’s release in December.

“It’s not exactly going to please the anti-globalisation movement,” noted literary magazine Livres Hebdo, which compiles and publishes the bestseller charts. A spokeswoman for Livres Hebdo said Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix hit the top of chart on a preliminary estimate of 16,000 copies sold since June 21.

Trauma time

Vienna (Reuters): A woman lay awake during surgery for 45 minutes, unable to move or call for help, after staff forgot to hook up the machine pumping out anaesthetic, Austrian daily Kurier reported on Monday. The woman was temporarily paralysed because she had been given a muscle relaxant, and her ordeal ended only after a replacement doctor who entered the operating room saw tears in her eyes and noticed the machine was not connected properly. The woman is suing for 70,000 euros in damages.

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