LONDON (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI hit the 1 million Twitter follower mark on Wednesday as he sent his first tweet from his new account. In amassing an army of followers, the pontiff joined an elite circle of prolific tweeters. Below is a glance at other members of the Twitterati.
Pop icon Lady Gaga’s account ranks as Twitter’s most followed, with her musings and inspirational messages reaching 32 million followers. The Grammy-winning entertainer has sparked controversy over sometimes racy images and videos tweeted from her account, but she has also used the forum to promote charity and empowerment.
The U.S. president’s Twitter feed is run by the Obama campaign and has 24.4 million followers. Obama rarely sends his own tweets, but when he does he signs them, as he did in one sent to the first lady on Valentine’s Day.
Brazilian football superstar Kaka was the first athlete to amass 10 million followers on Twitter, joining an elite group of online influencers. The Real Madrid midfielder’s tweets are written in English, Spanish and Portuguese, reflecting his global appeal. At last count, his followers topped 13.7 million — lagging just behind teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, with 14.8 million.
The 77-year-old Dalai Lama has amassed 5.7 million followers on Twitter. The exiled Buddhist spiritual leader of Tibet follows no other accounts, but posts every few days on the micro-blogging site. His messages are a mix of inspirational quotes and probing questions, with a few links to his appearances mixed in.
The media baron’s controversial tweets are a mix of personal, politics and business news. With 376,000 followers, Murdoch has a far smaller Twitter flock than many bigwigs — but his unedited and uncensored tweets have made the account a must-follow among media watchers.
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Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
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Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
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Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
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O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
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Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
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When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
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A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
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