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Rushdie, Botham Receiving Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth


Author Salman Rushdie, who was forced into hiding after Iran's spiritual leader ordered his assassination 18 years ago, is being awarded a knighthood by Britain's Queen Elizabeth.

Rushdie, along with CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, and former KGB double agent Oleg Gordievsky, top the latest honors list marking the queen's official birthday.

Rushdie, the "Midnight's Children" author, said in a statement he is thrilled and humbled to receive such great honor and very grateful that his work has been recognized in this way.

Rushdie spent several years in hiding after Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or religious edict, calling for his execution following the publication of the book, "The Satanic Verses." Many Muslims believed the book was blasphemous.

Ian Botham, one of England's best cricket players, also receives a knighthood.

Christiane Amanpour will become a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE.

Oleg Gordievsky receives the appointment of Companion to the Order of St. Michael and St. George, or CMG.

Other famous names on the list include football player Teddy Sheringham, Australian comedian Barry Humphries, who created the character of Dame Edna Everage, and the founder of Britain's Glastonbury pop music festival, Michael Eavis.

Queen Elizabeth was born in April, but her birthday is celebrated in June.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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