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Originally published September 19, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified September 19, 2008 at 4:39 AM

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Michelle Obama, Fergie among People magazine's best-dressed

Celebrity gossip, famous birthdays and other tidbits, compiled from Seattle Times news services.

Fashion passion

People magazine issues its annual list of best-dressed women today, and there are some surprises in the Top Ten, from pop princess Fergie to Michelle Obama, who was praised for a look that is "classic and confident." The wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama told People, "Some of my favorite summer dresses are from Gap and H&M." Others singled out include Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron, Eva Mendes, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna and Heidi Klum. This year the magazine declined to make a worst-dressed list. But it did single out the "worst dresses," disastrous choices made by Paula Abdul, Lucy Liu, Sienna Miller, Tilda Swinton, Solange Knowles and Tori Amos. "These were ... too over-the-top to ignore," said People's style editor, Clarissa Cruz.

People

Too high for the pope

Pope Benedict XVI, 81, will not attend World Family Day in Mexico City next January because the city sits too high above sea level for someone his age, a cardinal said Thursday. "The pope is in good health, but he's no longer a young man," Cardinal Ennio Antonelli of the Pontifical Council for the Family said Thursday. Mexico City is more than 7,300 feet above sea level.

Don't ask

In her first interview since her husband confessed to his extramarital affair, Elizabeth Edwards said she is trying to regain trust. This summer former Democratic presidential aspirant John Edwards admitted to a sexual relationship with a woman who worked for his campaign. Elizabeth Edwards was asked by the Detroit Free Press if she has forgiven her spouse. "I don't want to feed the monster, if you don't mind," she said. She compared the situation to having a limb amputated. Answering questions about her marriage, she said, was like someone insensitively inquiring, "Are you over that leg yet?"

Search and seizure

Security is so tight on the set of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" that the cast is virtually frisked as soon as cameras stop rolling. Actor David Thewlis, who plays Remus Lupin, said, "You finish a scene and the crew treat your wand like it was a diamond and take it straight off you. Filming hasn't even finished and there is already a big fight for the props."

Found!

A Viking first

Danish archaeologist Kirsten Christensen said a well-preserved Viking wooden shield that is more than 1,000 years old was found Tuesday during excavations near Viking-age castles, some 60 miles west of Copenhagen, the first time such a shield has been found in Denmark.

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Passages

James Crumley, 68, a crime novelist whose hardened detectives worked cases in dingy Montana bars and other rough hangouts around Big Sky Country, died Wednesday in Missoula. He was perhaps best known for "The Last Good Kiss," which Men's Journal last year ranked No. 12 among its Top 15 Thrillers of All Time.

Georgi Kitov, 65, an archaeologist who was an expert on the treasure-rich Thracian culture of antiquity, died of a heart attack Sunday while excavating a temple near the village of Starosel in central Bulgaria.

Today in History

1957: The United States conducted its first contained underground nuclear test, code-named "Rainier," in the Nevada desert.

1960: Cuban leader Fidel Castro, in New York to visit the United Nations, angrily checked out of the Shelburne Hotel in a dispute with the management; he accepted an invitation to stay at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem.

Today's Birthdays

Author Roger Angell, 88. TV host James Lipton, 82. Actor Adam West, 78. Actor David McCallum, 75. Singer-songwriter Paul Williams, 68. Singer Bill Medley, 68. Actor Jeremy Irons, 60. Actor Kevin Hooks, 50. Country singer Trisha Yearwood, 44. Actress-comedian Cheri Oteri, 43. Comedian Jimmy Fallon, 34. Actress-TV host Alison Sweeney, 32. Actor Columbus Short, 26.

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Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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