Recently in International Category
Thousands of rapes have been committed and gone unpunished in Iraq since the war. Iraqi women who have been raped face great social stigma and often are blamed or even killed in so-called "honor killings" for bringing "shame" to their families. For many of these women, the only way to protect themselves is to go into hiding in secret "safe houses." Here are some of their stories, courtesy of PBS.
Sarah Brown, left, wearing a fabulous (and presumably rented) Graeme Black jacket with her husband and the Obamas. Photo credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
What does British First Lady Sarah Brown have in common with Carrie Bradshaw's assistant Louise? She rents her fashion, girlfriend!
When Mrs. Brown wore a $13,000 blouse to an event during the G-20 summit, tongues wagged about how she could afford such a piece. Well, she couldn't. Mrs. Brown has no income and is not allowed to accept gifts or loans of clothing as First Lady, so she simply rented a few fabulous outfits.
So now the secret is out of the closet - just not hers. And we're not mad at her either. She's just doing what any fashionista in a bind (and a bad economy) would do.
During President Bush's farewell visit to Iraq Sunday, an Iraqi jounalist went all Single White Female on him. (Remember the stiletto attack scene in that flick?)
As Bush spoke, the offending journalist cried out, "This is a farewell, you dog!" and hurled two men's shoes at the President's head. The president ducked - twice - and narrowly escaped injury.
In Iraqi culture, exposing the bottom of a shoe to a person or hurling a shoe at them loosely translates into a major f#$% you and everything else you'd want to say to your worst ex-boyfriend ever.
In a post-incident interview with ABC News, the president said about the man who threw the shoe, "I don't know what his beef is."
On January 20th, Bush will get the boot and Barack Obama will take over the White House.
Outgoing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice played the piano for Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace Monday. Secretary Rice is in London on what is expected to be her final visit to Britain before President elect Barack Obama takes office on January 20, 2009.
Here's a bit of Condi's performance:
Jude Law at a press conference in Kabul. Photo from here and creditited to Shah Marai, AFP/Getty images
Actor Jude Law is in Afghanistan to promote peace. From the Associated Press:
Jude Law is visiting Afghanistan to promote peace in the war-ravaged country.
French President Sarkozy's former First Lady Ceclia and new First Lady Carla sport identical diamond rings, both gifts from the president. Photos from the Daily Mail.
French President NIcolas Sarkozy and former supermodel Carla Bruni's relationship is moving so fast that we can barely keep up with it. The pair began dating in October, right after Sarcozy and his former first lady Cecilia divorced. So here's the rundown, as fast as we can:
- Last week, Sarkozy announced in a press conference that his relationship with Carla is serious and that he expected to marry her.
- Sarcozy gave Carla the SAME RING that he gave his second wife Cecilia.
- On Friday, it was reported that Carla is pregnant with the First Child (not her first child, just the First Child).
- And the latest word? The lovebirds are now married! They secretly ran off to city hall last Thursday and tied the knot!
French President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed in a press conference Tuesday that, indeed, c'est l'amour between him and singer/former supermodel Carla Bruni. Sarkozy, 52, and Bruni, 40, have been an item since meeting at a party 2 months ago, a few of weeks after Sarkozy's divorce. Rumor has it that the couple will marry on February 9th.
Love songs? Check out the latest tunes by Carla here.
Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, 54, was killed today at a campaign rally where she spoke before thousands of supporters. A sucide bomber shot her in the neck and chest before blowing himself up. At least 20 others were killed.
Bhutto, a former prime minister of Pakistan, returned to the country from exile on October 18th. That same day, she was almost injured in a suicide bomber attack that killed 140 people at her homecoming parade.
No one has claimed responsibility for Bhutto's asassination, but some of her supporters believe that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was behind it. Musharaff was well known as her main political opponent.
Bhutto's party, which is Pakistan's largest political party, is left without her leadership just days before Pakistan's parliamentary election. Her party had been expected to do well.
In photo above, Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto waves to supporters at a campaign rally shortly before she was gunned down. Photo credtit: Mian Khursheed/Reuters.
So America's new BFF is France. French president Nicolas Sarcozy told Congress that France is "the friend of the United States of America."
Remember when France and America were total frenemies?
America thought she was cool with France, but France was acting like she thought she was better friends with Iraq than America. America was so mad that she told France she would never eat french fries again. Ever! Her new freedom fry diet was starting right now.
France was like, well, whatever.
Anyway, France and America have been BFFs again for like 2 weeks now, so it's totally possible that this rekindled relationship could last as long as a good Hollywood marriage (about 6-9 months). Afterall, Mr. Sarcozy said himself that "our friendship and our alliance is strong."
A 19 year old woman who was kidnapped and gang raped 14 times by 7 men in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to 200 lashes and 6 months in prison. The sentencing court said that the young woman violated laws prohibiting women from being alone with unrelated men.
Ruling Jolts Even Saudis: 200 Lashes for Rape Victim [The New York Times]
Saudi court ups punishment for gang-rape victim [CNN]
Saudi gang-rape victim is jailed [BBC]
Saudi orders court lashes, prison for rape victim [The Boston Globe]
Mikhail Gorbachev and his pet Louie.
The ad has caused drama, because of a Russian magazine poking out of the open bag. The headline of the magazine (when tranlated from Russian to English) says, "The Murder of Litvinenko: They Wanted to Give Up the Suspect for $7,000."
Litvinenko is Alexander V. Litvinenko, the former KGB spy who died last Novermber after being poisoned with a radioactive material. On his deathbed, Litvinenko said that President Vladimir V. Putin was behind his poisoning. British officials later charged Andrei K. Lugovoi, an associate of Putin, with the crime.
So the drama is all about whether the magazine was placed in the ad on purpose, and if so, what does it mean? Louis Vuitton, its ad agency Ogilvy & Mather, and a representative for Gorbachev all deny that the magazine placement was intentional or designed to send a message.
Not everyone is buying their story though. As one observer told the New York Times, "In an industry where sesame seeds are hand-placed on a hamburger bun by food technicians before a shot, one would reasonably assume that this was not something that happened by chance. Ads like these get art-directed to the very millimeter and airbrushed so that the advertiser gets exactly what they want.”
Come on, Louis Vuitton. We may be polichicks, but we're not dumb broads.
14,000 dolphins are killed every year in Japan for food. Japanese fisherman see nothing wrong with this and believe that dolphins should be treated like any other fish that's caught and eaten by humans. They say that eating dolphin is a part of Japanese culture, and foreigners ought to stay out of it.
Hayden Panettiere disagrees. The Heroes star left Hollywood behind, joined other dolphin rights activists in Japan, and confronted Japanese fisherman in the water as they began the dolphin slaughter. The fishermen used a long pole to push Hayden and her pals away, and sadly, not one dolphin - not even the little baby dolphin that Hayden said looked at her - was saved. Hayden returned to shore and sobbed on the beach.
Hayden is a spokesperson for savethewhalesagain.org.