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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

London Fashion Week Wraps up 5-Day Run

What's new for fashion in the coming winter? Consider glamorous animal prints, a touch of punk, polished tailoring, furry collars and lashings of shiny PVC.

London Fashion Week on Tuesday wrapped up a whirlwind of runway previews that offered a huge variety of looks from dozens of designers, but one thing seemed clear: This season, many of the styles were more wearable by women who aren't necessarily models.

That's not to say the looks were boring or conventional. Glossy rubberized material — think translucent raincoats — was everywhere, as were boxy, roomy jacket shapes. There were punk-inspired biker zips and a black and red theme at Preen, but clean and minimalist tailoring kept the outfits sophisticated.

Erdem offered dark dresses brightened up with neon florals, while Christopher Kane, recently acquired by luxury conglomerate PPR, showcased a whole range of creative looks from camouflage-printed kilts to dark velvet dresses to feather trims.

Roksanda Ilincic brought out a series of feminine dresses and separates in peachy pinks, but clashed them with fluorescent green and emerald accents, ghostly makeup and statement striped lace-up boots in bright metallic hues.

"It's about daring to bring the pink into winter because it's such a spring color, and it's such a girly color," the designer said after her show on Tuesday — the fifth day of the British capital's fashion week.

Earlier, the headline acts of the week lived up to high expectations.

Luxury brand Burberry updated its classic trenches with bold animal prints and more of the ubiquitous plastic, latex-like material, while Tom Ford unveiled bright, saturated tribal patterns. Vivienne Westwood delivered what she does best: draped dresses and jackets that magically create hourglass shapes for the wearer.

Color-wise, Ilincic and others brought pink and coral to the catwalk, but a deep palette of burgundy and wine, navy and bottle green was most popular.

Compared to New York, Milan or Paris, London fashion attracts many with its younger, edgier and more urban vibe, and catwalk shows were often full of theatrical or even madcap looks.

"I find it an exuberant, inspirational city, so that's why I chose to show here," said Ford, who staged a lavish runway showcase on Monday night, marking the first full-fledged womenswear catwalk show for his Tom Ford brand.

Officials have made a point of nurturing that creative energy, though increasingly designers based in the capital are encouraged to take a more business-savvy approach to fashion — the leading creative industry in Britain, worth 21 billion pounds (US$33 billion) to the U.K. economy.

"Before it was more like an art show, but now — now the creativity is still there, though with collections that are saleable, that generate a profitable business," said British Fashion Council chief executive Caroline Rush.

Designers including handbag specialist Anya Hindmarch, Ashish and newcomer Simone Rocha were the last to show at the fashion event on Tuesday.

As the runways get dismantled in London, models, editors and bloggers are jetting off to more womenswear shows in Milan, which begins its fashion week Wednesday, followed by Paris next week.

British supermodel Cara Delevingne rules on fashion catwalks


LONDON (Reuters) - As hundreds of models have strutted down catwalks in New York and London this month for the fall fashion shows, one face has emerged from the crowd -- British model Cara Delevingne.
   
At New York Fashion Week last week Delevingne, 20, walked in 13 shows, including Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta, and in London this week she sashayed in various shows, for Burberry, having previously modeled for Stella McCartney. Milan and Paris come next.

The catwalk success of the British model, whose strong eyebrows and snub nose are her defining features, has Britain's press stalking her every move and has drawn comparisons to the attention once garnered by fellow Briton Kate Moss.

Open a fashion magazine or the social pages of a newspaper and there is Delevingne, with the model gracing the March issue of British Vogue while also partying with the A-list crowd including singers Rihanna and Rita Ora.

She is plastered on billboards across London as the face of Inditex's high street chain Zara and has built a large social media following, by posting photos of her modeling, partying and napping, attracting 468,000 Twitter followers.

"She has this unique striking look, which is almost part Brigitte Bardot, but then mixed with an elfin quirkiness. There's a rarity about her look, which has put her on the map and into countless campaigns and runways," said Carmen Borgonovo, fashion director at online boutique my-wardrobe.com.
Moss, 39, and Delevingne do have something in common - the same scout.

Sarah Doukas, who spotted 14-year-old Moss at a New York airport in 1988, was the first to see the potential of Delevingne at a fashion show at her daughter's private school, Bedales. She signed her up to Storm Model Management in 2009.

But unlike Moss, Delevingne comes from a privileged background - as her attendance at the 30,000 pounds ($46,000) a year school Bedales suggests.

She is the granddaughter of former English Heritage chairman Sir Jocelyn Stevens, founder of the 1960s pirate radio station Radio Caroline, and grew up in the wealthy London suburb of Belgravia with her father, a property developer, and her mother, a personal shopper. Her sister Poppy is also a model.
Delevingne first came to attention appearing in Burberry's 2011 campaign. She became the face of Burberry in 2012.

She was named Model of the Year at the British Fashion Awards last November and has continued to climb the ranks, rising to number 17 on models.com's Top 50 Models list from 25 before the start of this month's fashion season.

"Cara is one of those girls who combine energy, wit, enthusiasm and the kind of edgy beauty that marks her out from the general pool of beautiful models," says Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman in an introduction to the March magazine.

Fashion industry experts said with the fickleness of the fashion industry it remained to be seen whether Delevingne would challenge the success that Moss has enjoyed for over 20 years.

But they said part of the appeal of the model-of-the-moment is her personality on-and-off the catwalk, with Delevingne clearly having fun and trying to remain modest.

"I don't like Cara the model. I'm just Cara. And for some reason, these people keep hiring me," she told reporters backstage at the London Fashion Show.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Strong earthquake strikes Chile; no serious damage reported

A strong earthquake struck coastal Chile near the port city of Valparaiso late Monday, causing mudslides and some minor damage, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The 6.7-magnitude quake knocked out some power and phone lines in the region, authorities said.

The temblor was felt in the capital city, Santiago, located 69 miles from the epicenter. A CNN en Español anchor held onto his desk as the quake rattled the studio during a newscast in Huechurba, a suburb of the capital.

"We could feel the ground shaking," said journalist Richard Madan. "It felt like we were standing on a subway track but multiply that by about 200."

Madan, of CNN's Canadian affiliate CTV, is in Santiago as part of the traveling press for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit there.

Both he and the Canadian delegation were okay, Madan said.

No tsunami warning was issued, according to Chile's Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service, and a preventive evacuation for the area has been lifted. A 72-year-old man died of a heart attack during the evacuation, according to regional Mayor Raul Celis.

The same part of the country was hit with an 8.8-magnitude earthquake in February 2010, killing hundreds of people.
Chile is on the so-called "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines circling the Pacific Basic that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.


Friday, April 13, 2012

'Illegal' Roma teenager wins French 'best apprentice' award

Cristina Dumitru was told she would get her coveted "carte de séjour", a short-term residency permit, the day after the French Senate awarded her a prize for being the best apprentice in her professional field. No coincidence, says the teenager. 



A Romanian teenager who has lived a precarious existence in France since 2005 has made headlines in her adopted country for being recognised as the best achieving apprentice one day, and being granted the right to live here legally the next.

Until she was given a gold medal at the French Senate last Thursday, 18-year-old Critsina Dumitru, from a Roma (Gypsy) family, lived under the spectre of being expelled from the country because she didn’t have a “carte de séjour”, a short-term French residency card.

And the day after being rewarded for her hard work as dry cleaning apprentice in the western French city of Nantes, her local authority gave her notice that her carte de séjour would be hers within three months.

Dumitru, who was “delighted” with her gold medal, said there was little coincidence that her residency permit was granted immediately after the gold medal.

“Apart from getting this award there is absolutely nothing different about my situation now from when my application was turned down in February,” she told FRANCE 24.

In fact, her application has been rejected twice, both times because she could not produce a work contract. “And I couldn’t get a work contract because I was still a student,” she said.

In addition to helping her find regular work, the status also means she can apply for a driving license and a grant to study for a professional diploma. She wants to qualify as a clothing salesperson.

France’s hard line on immigrants

Dumitru’s award, and the granting of the carte de séjour, brings into focus the harder line France has taken towards immigrants in the last two years, as well as rules that have made it more difficult to live and find work in the country.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy was widely criticised in summer 2010 for launching a campaign against illegal Roma encampments in France and for “repatriating” hundreds of illegal immigrants to Romania.

And Dumitru’s family story is not uncommon among Roma immigrants. Her family travelled to France in 2005 and found themselves in Nantes on France’s Atlantic coast.

He parents found casual seasonal work on farms, but the family still “slept in the open in a park”, and then illegally in a caravan without water or electricity until they could find a small flat.

A ‘focussed young woman’

Despite the hardships, Dumitru wanted to make a success of her life, enrolling on an apprenticeship course in dry cleaning at her lycée (high school), for which she was nominated for the award.

“She is an extremely focussed young woman,” Florine Durand, the head of her school, told French newspaper Le Figaro on March 30. “She is so determined that as soon as she completed her apprenticeship, she enrolled immediately for another one in sales.”

Dumitru admitted that travelling to Paris and going to the senate, the symbol of government in a country that had thus far refused her official residency, “was a daunting experience, especially as no one knew that I didn’t have a carte de séjour.”

She took the advantage of her situation to talk to journalists and explain the precariousness of her and her family’s situation in France, an exercise that seemed to have paid off when her local authority finally gave her application for residency the go-ahead.

“Obviously I’m delighted that I’ll be getting my carte de séjour, but it is a pity that I had to win a national prize to get my papers in order,” she said, hoping that her own status will help her parents and her brother get theirs.

Fears Over Rising Lung Cancer Rate In Women

High rates of smoking among women in the "Mad Men" era of the 1960s is having a shocking effect decades later, new figures show.



Statistics released by Cancer Research UK show that more than 18,000 British women were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009.

The disease now affects 39 in every 100,000 women, compared to 22 in every 100,000 in 1975.

The charity says there is a time lag of two to three decades between high smoking rates and a rise in cancer cases.

In the 1960s, more than 45% of women smoked. Today just 20% smoke.

By contrast, rates of lung cancer in men are falling.

Male smoking rates peaked - at 65% - two decades earlier than in women, and have been falling since. Now 22% of men smoke.

Jean King, director of tobacco control at Cancer Research UK, said: "These latest figures highlight the deadly impact of tobacco.

"The continuing rise of lung cancer in women reflects the high number of female smokers several decades ago when attitudes were different.

"Tobacco advertising hasn't appeared on UK television since 1965, but that didn't stop the marketing of cigarettes. New, more sophisticated marketing techniques have lured many hundreds of thousands into starting an addiction that will kill half of all long term smokers."

The charity says restrictions on tobacco advertising, cigarette displays and public smoking are likely to lead to fewer people getting hooked.

Irene Finlayson developed lung cancer after smoking 20-a-day for 45 years. She had her right lung removed and is now too breathless to even walk up the road.

"Teenagers think they are invincible, that nothing will harm them. But I know what cigarettes do.

"I hate them now. I feel sorry for the young folk smoking and wish they had never started."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Huge quake hits Indonesia; tsunami alert in India

Jakarta: A massive earthquake hit Indonesia’s Sumatra Islands on Wednesday forcing the authorities to issue a Tsunami warning.

According to reports, the magnitude of the earthquake was earlier reported to be 8.9 on the Richter Scale.

However, it was later revised to 8.7 on the Richter Scale by the US-based USGS.

The epicenter of the earthquake is said to be in the Sumatra Islands.

However, there are no reports of any major casualty or any large scale destruction of the property in Indonesia.

The tremors of the high intensity quake also felt in northeastern and other region of the India including West Bengal, Bihar, Assam and Manipur.

After Indonesia earthquake, tsunami alert and tremors in India

New Delhi: 
A tsunami of between three to six metres is expected to hit the Nicobar Islands after an earthquake of 8.9 on the Richter scale hit Indonesia.  A tsunami alert -which is less serious than a warning - has also been issued for the Eastern coast of India, the Andaman Islands, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Tremors were felt after that in Mumbai, Kolkata, and the southern part of Chennai.  The tremors lasted for a few seconds.

In Bhubaneshwar, people were seen running out of their homes and offices.  No damage has been reported so far.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fremantle container blaze bill hits $500k

NEARLY a dozen shipping containers were engulfed in a blaze in Fremantle Port yesterday that caused $500,000 damage 


The stack of containers in the Rous Head Harbour on North Mole Drive, North Fremantle, caught fire about 4pm yesterday.

Original reports from fire officials suggested 20 containers were ablaze but the number was later rounded down to 11.

A Fire and Emergency Services Authority spokeswoman said 13 fire crews with about 40 firefighters were sent to fight the blaze, which was under control by about 8pm.

Crews stayed overnight to clean up the area.

A fire investigation has been unable to determine the cause for the fire.

One of the containers, which belong to hire and servicing company Container Refrigeration, was believed to have contained oil.  

The majority of the containers were empty.

The Department of Environment and Conservation's Pollution Response Unit conducted air monitoring and analysis after concerns were raised about the large amount of thick smoke in the area.

Unit inspectors reported no chemicals of concern were detected downwind of the fire.

A spokesman for Container Refrigeration declined to comment yesterday, telling PerthNow that he was "busy working on the fires".

According to the company's website, Container Refrigeration specialises in the hire, sales, service and modification of shipping containers both for refrigerated and general purpose.

Parris snaps up national photo award

A PHOTOGRAPH of her school's boilerhouse, with its chimney starkly silhouetted against a bright sky, earned 11-year-old Parris Wilson from Jedburgh an accolade last week.



The picture was selected as the best primary school exhibit in the Scottish Civic Trust's prestigious PhotoArch competition 2012, which attracted 630 entries from across Scotland. 

Parris, a pupil at Howdenburn Primary, admitted: “I didn't expect to win.” 

Parris, together with 14-year-old Megan Robertson of Aberdeenshire, who won the secondary category, received their certificates from Derek Mackay MSP, minister for local government and planning, at a ceremony at the Lighthouse in Glasgow last Tuesday. 

Parris's photograph, along with all the highly commended and commended entries, will be on view to the public for four weeks at the city venue. 

After that, Parris's photo, entitled The Boiler House Pipe, will represent Scotland at the International Heritage Photographic Experience exhibition in more than 40 countries. 

It was a red-letter day, too, for Parris's Howdenburn classmate Kira Renilson, also 11, whose photograph The Cross won her a highly commended certificate. 

The PhotoArch project, founded in 2004, encourages young people to take an interest in buildings, archaeology and heritage. Sites under the lens this year included everything from atmospheric ancient ruins to ultra-modern flats, castles, schools, homes, shops, churches and factories. 

The illustrious panel of judges deemed Parris's photograph both “bold and unusual”. 

Parris reacted: “I just thought I would photograph the chimney at my school and I certainly didn't expect to win.” 

The judges for PhotoArch 2012 were Ruth Parsons, chief executive of Historic Scotland; Ray Entwistle, chair of the Scottish Civic Trust; Robin McClory, director at ADF Architects; and Julia Horton, a journalist for the Times Educational Supplement Scotland. 

Ms Parsons said: “The breadth of imagination shown by the entrants has been exceptional. The competition clearly brings out the very best in our young people, inspiring remarkable creativity and offering new perspectives and new interpretations on buildings and monuments that have a special place in our communities.” 

Mr Entwistle added: “This competition, which attracted a record number of entries, is a great way to get children thinking about the places and spaces that surround them. Once again, we had many excellent entries from pupils of all ages, showing originality, inventiveness and an eye for detail.”

Biel heads to Paris for wedding dress

Actress Jessica Biel has started planning for her impending wedding to pop hunk Justin Timberlake by visiting Paris, France to hunt for dresses. 

The Cry Me A River hitmaker reportedly popped the question in December and Biel finally flashed her impressive engagement ring during a day out in Los Angeles in March. 

Biel has now fuelled rumours the pair is gearing up for a summer wedding after she was spotted scouring Parisian bridal boutiques over the Easter weekend . 

The beauty was spotted going from store to store, including the high-end showrooms of designers Giambattista Valli and Elie Saab, while her assistant carried a wedding planning book.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tennessee seeks to question evolution in bill

US conservative Christians and science advocates are clashing again, this time in Tennessee over a bill that would allow debate in public schools over theories like evolution
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Lawmakers from the southeastern US state home to a strong base of ultraconservative "Tea Party" activists have approved the bill, which now awaits the signature of Governor Bill Haslam, a Republican.

The measure, which could pass by a Tuesday deadline, would allow public schoolteachers to challenge accepted science on topics such as climate change and evolution in their classrooms without facing sanctions.
If it passes, Tennessee would join nine other states with similar laws promoting creationism, more or less explicitly.

Critics have labeled the legislation the "Monkey Bill" in reference to the highly publicized 1925 "Scopes Monkey Trial" in which Tennessee charged high school science teacher John Scopes of violating a state law against teaching "that man has descended from a lower order of animals."

The Tennessee Science Teachers Association and the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union rights group, the measure's biggest critics, are calling for Haslam to veto it. They say it would provide legal cover for educators to teach pseudoscientific ideas.

"They are not talking that much about creationism but rather about Intelligent Design," said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU's Tennessee branch.

"It's a very nuanced and clever way... to challenge the theory of evolution and allow teachers to inject Intelligent Design and neo-creationism." Intelligent Design is the idea that scientific evidence can show that life forms developed under the direction of a higher intelligence.

The measure states that "teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught."

It also says the legislation "shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine."

In a letter to lawmakers, the Tennessee members of the National Academy of Sciences argued that the bill would "miseducate students, harm the state's national reputation and weaken its efforts to compete in a science-driven global economy."

The Tennessee Education Association, meanwhile, blasted the "unnecessary legislation."

But Haslam has already indicated he would "probably" sign the measure into law.

The Discovery Institute, whose model legislation inspired the bill, hailed the passage of a text that "promotes good science education by protecting the academic freedom of science teachers to fully and objectively discuss controversial scientific topics, like evolution."

Based in Seattle, Washington, the group backs the teaching of alternatives to evolution in public schools and supports research into Intelligent Design, a form of creationism.

The creationist offensive is part of a long-running battle, in a country where only a quarter of the population believes whole-heartedly in evolution, between advocates of non-religious teachings in public schools and conservative Christians who say man is a divine creature not descended from apes.

It was not before 1968 that the US Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional, based on the separation of church and state, to teach anti-evolution principles.

And in 1987, the high court said that mandatory teaching of creationism was against the Constitution because any such law intended to advance a particular religion.

UK jobless total 'to rise by 100,000 over summer'

Some 100,000 more people will be without a job before the end of the summer, according to a new report.
The IPPR think tank says unemployment may not peak until at least September, and that it could be 18 months before the UK jobless total falls.

North-west and Eastern England, London, and Yorkshire and Humberside will see the highest increases, it predicts.

But it adds that the West Midlands, Northern Ireland and South West will see a job recovery.

'Personal tragedy' 
The left-leaning IPPR said it expected 50,000 more men and 50,000 women to become unemployed this year as public sector jobs continued to be cut.

It predicts that 40,000 of those becoming jobless will be under the age of 25.

"The personal tragedy of the slow economic recovery is the way unemployment will continue to rise over the next year, even once the economy begins to grow," said Kayte Lawton, senior research fellow at the think tank.

"This has been the longest recession and the slowest recovery that Britain has ever experienced.

"The risk is that high unemployment becomes a permanent feature of the UK economy, as it did in the 1980s." 

The Department of Work and Pensions said that while "the international economic outlook remains difficult... we will do everything we can to help the unemployed find jobs".

"There have been some encouraging signs that the labour market is stabilising, but there is clearly still a big challenge ahead to bring down unemployment," a spokesman said.

New figures later this month are expected to show another increase in the figures.

The most recent data from the from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), showed that UK unemployment rose by 28,000 to 2.67 million during the three months to January, with the unemployment rate at 8.4%.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance increased by 7,200 to 1.61 million in February. 

The rise in unemployment was the lowest in almost a year. However, unemployment amongst women accounted for most of the increase.

The Queen makes Camilla a Dame Grand Cross

The Duchess of Cornwall has been made a Dame Grand Cross, the highest female rank in the Royal Victorian Order.

The announcement by Buckingham Palace comes as Camilla and the Prince of Wales celebrate their the seventh wedding anniversary.

 A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said Camilla, 64, would be invested with the insignia of her rank at a later date.

Appointments to the Royal Victorian Order are made by the Queen independently of 10 Downing Street.
The Order was founded in April 1896 by Queen Victoria as a way of rewarding personal service.

The duchess has become patron of a number of organisations and has travelled extensively with the prince on official visits.

BBC correspondent Fiona Trott commented: "As Charles's second wife, the duchess's involvement in royal engagements was gradual. But now, she's often seen at the Queen's side.

"It's likely that Camilla's award is in recognition of her many royal engagements at home and abroad over the past seven years and is an indication of her importance within the Royal family."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Why women stop worrying

Linden MacIntyre has some good news and some bad news for the young ladies of the world.
The good news: you know all those things you worry about when it comes to men? In your early 50s, he says, you'll stop worrying about them.

"You'll start to think, 'I really don't need the aggravation.' Your biological imperatives have changed," he explains. "You no longer care about the things that mattered when you were in your 20s and you're a lot more emotionally independent. You've learned by hard knocks what you need and what's what."
The bad news? The men you're worrying about now won't change.

"They become very insecure, and that's why they start chasing 20-year-olds and buying stupid cars and getting hair transplants. Everything that defines manhood starts to diminish at that point, whereas what defines womanhood is much deeper," says MacIntyre, 68. "Men don't change. A man at age 80 is much the same as he is at age 19, in terms of the things that matter a lot - and that's the problem."

It's just one of the themes MacIntyre, an award-winning author and journalist, explores in his new novel, "Why Men Lie."

The novel continues where his previous ones - 1999's "The Long Stretch" and the Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning "The Bishop's Man" - left off.

The series is centred around a group of people from Cape Breton, bound by a vague experience of their fathers in the Second World War.

The first novel brought out some ugly secrets that help the characters learn why they were experiencing the life challenges they were; the second sees one of the characters, Duncan, looking for structure and respectability, become a priest. The institution leads him to corruption and his struggle with it.
MacIntyre's protagonist in "Why Men Lie" is Duncan's sister, Effie MacAskill Gillis.

In Toronto in 1997, she bumps into JC Campbell, a TV news producer she once knew and hadn't seen for decades.

He's sophisticated, charming and handsome, and Effie, having endured a failed marriage and other doomed relationships with men, starts to wonder if she's finally met a man who has outgrown the need to lie.
Their romance blossoms, but gets complicated when Effie starts seeing a darker side to JC, who is also caught up with the case of a man on death row in Texas. She learns things about him that make him vulnerable and volatile.

Different view

Writing from a woman's perspective wasn't as challenging as you might think, MacIntyre says, although it may be a rather brazen thing to do. It was also brazen to write from the point of view of a priest in his previous book, he admits.


How he came to that conclusion, he says, is a complicated story.


"It's something I arrived at after seeing a lot of violence in the Middle East and Latin America and places like that when I was travelling a lot as a reporter."

MacIntyre, a native of St. Lawrence, is the author of a number of books, most recently "Who Killed Ty Conn?" an account of the life of an Ontario man sentenced to 47 years in prison, mostly for bank robbery, and how people and the correctional system failed him.

MacIntyre had developed a friendship with Conn after meeting him while working on an investigative piece on the effects of child abuse for CBC's "The Fifth Estate," which lasted until Conn shot himself in the chest - whether accidentally or not is unclear - during a standoff with police in 1999.

Readmore: http://www.thetelegram.com/Arts---Life/Entertainment/2012-04-07/article-2949697/Why-women-stop-worrying/1

Paris - 10 Things You Need To Know

Paris - 10 Things You Need To Know