Monday, 29 November 2010

FT.com / UK / Business - Prince Andrew attacks fraud inquiry ‘idiocy’: "Prince Andrew, a UK government special trade representative, has lambasted the “idiocy” of British anti-corruption investigators and ridiculed the levels of bribery in France in an “astonishingly candid” meeting noted by a US diplomat.
In an alleged outburst that will raise a question mark over his future in the role, the Duke of York railed against journalists and the UK’s Serious Fraud Office in a discussion that “at times verged on the rude”.
Towards the end of a two-hour brunch with businesspeople in a Bishkek hotel, Prince Andrew criticised the investigation into BAE Systems over the al-Yamamah arms deal with Saudi Arabia."
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank is to pay a record rent for the final retail unit at One Hyde Park, the luxury Knightsbridge development managed by the Candy brothers in London.
The luxury residential and retail development claims to include Britain's most expensive flat, at £140m, and has attracted the interest of wealthy overseas tenants, particularly from the Gulf and Russia. It is thought that the Abu Dhabi group outbid other Middle Eastern banks as well as upmarket fashion retailers to bag the final 3,000sqft unit at street level – paying more than the area's current record of £550 per square foot.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, which was advised by agent CB Richard Ellis, joins luxury watch maker Rolex and McLaren's car showroom in the retail units, for which Nash Bond and Cushman & Wakefield are the leasing agents.
The Middle East has also invested heavily in upmarket Brompton Road, also in Knightsbridge, with a raft of top retailers and designer brands set to move in. It is thought that the US sports brand Nike is eyeing a shop currently occupied by fashion chain Monsoon, with bidders lining up to pay "key money" of around half a million pounds.
In the summer, Top Shop moved into the less-smart northern end of Brompton Road, and has acted as a magnet there for other fashion retailers, such as US-based Guess.
Very often people come across the term "street fashion" and many fashion writers, artists and photographers have tried to explore the concept in its entirety.
Considered to have emerged, not from the studios but from the grass-root levels, street fashion has almost always been associated with youth culture.
PA images
A model wears a creation by Taiwanese-born designer Maria Chen on the catwalk at London's Astoria Nightclub as part of London Fashion Week. Miss Chen's latest designs, owed much to the popular rock culture of the 70s and 80s.
 During different eras, "street fashion" has revolutionized the fashion industry with bold designs, colors and patterns. In fact, it is often said that some of the best trends in the industry have their roots in street culture.
Some of the major youth sub-cultures like Punk Fashion, Hip-Hop Fashion, Gothic Fashion and Hippes have been associated with street fashion.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

"Morocco is famous in tourist circles -- primarily for Marrakech, and rightly so. With bustling souks, boutique riads around every corner and a medina full of storytellers and snake charmers, Marrakech is a true East-meets-West city. It has a buzzing sense of otherworldliness and style that is hard not to like. Yet having landed in the impressive new Marrakech Airport, we ignored the call of the shopping in the souks (which, trust me is no hardship...) and headed straight for the High Atlas Mountains and Toubkal National Park, just an hour or two South of the City and home to North Africa's second highest Mountain.
A House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of MoroccoJust a short drive past several curiously out-of-place golf courses (golf courses in deserts, why?), we were unceremoniously dumped with our backpacks at the side of the road leading up the Imlil Valley. Waiting for us was our guide, cook and mule (that being three separate entities not one multi-functional donkey/horse hybrid). Mules are used frequently in these parts to transport trekkers gear and food supplies and served to fully demoralise us throughout our trek by capably lugging 100kg of gear on tortuous paths that left us wheezing for breath."
A Travel Fantasy at the Royal Mansour Marrakech: "Morocco is the land of A Thousand and One Nights, a realm touched by magic, where fact and fantasy blend together effortlessly. Sometimes people like to say that there's nothing new in the kingdom that's sprinkled with magic dust.

Shopping in MarrakechBut how wrong they are.

Two months ago the pink city of Marrakech, itself lost in the sprawling expanse of the southern desert, gave birth to a hotel so grand and yet so understated that it almost defies description. Conceived and bankrolled by His Majesty the King of Morocco, The Royal Mansour gives new meaning to the word 'opulent'.

Located down a private road, reached through an arched gate set in the ancient honey-yellow city wall, the hotel's grounds cover eight acres, walking distance from Jma al Fna, Marrakech's main square."

Saturday, 27 November 2010

woman-in-spain-says-she-owns-the-sun.aspx: "Spanish woman in the Galicia region has registered the Sun as her property at a local notary public, claiming there are no rules against individuals owning celestial objects.
Gee, you think they'd be satisfied with having the Costa del Sol.
Fine, Spain, why don't you you go and explore the Sun.
It would certainly bring new meaning to the phrase 'Quemar los barcos'."
Costa del villas - Costa del Sol tourism could benefit from air taxes: "The recent increase in air passenger tax duty (APD) could have a positive effect on the Costa del Sol rentals market as Brits head into Europe in an attempt to avoid expensive fees attached to long-haul flights.

The new taxes will make longer haul destinations such as the US, Mexico and Australia more expensive. The tax’s band structure means that flights over 6,000 miles will face an increase of over 50% in tax.

The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) believe that the increase will encourage holidaymakers to stay closer to home in destinations such as Spain, France, Portugal and Germany."
BMI PILES ON STYLE - mirror.co.uk: "Bmi this week unveiled its new Business Class and Economy cabins for mid-haul routes.
The updated Airbus A321 and A320 aircraft include new leather seating and a revamped lighting system.
Bmi boss Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said: 'We are committed to offering the best service at the best price for our customers.'"
Kate Moss by Kate Moss for Women. Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4-OuncesSpotted in London: Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer, Lily Cole and Kelly Brook ShinyStyle: "Kate Moss looked stunning today as she launched her new fragrance 'Vintage Muse', wearing super-tight black jeans and sky-high heels. True Moss style."
Sushi for DummiesHawksmoor Seven Dials, 11 Langley Street, London WC2 - Reviews, Food & Drink - The Independent: "As if it wasn't already hard enough to keep up, in today's Fifty-Things-To-Do-Before culture, a new pressure has emerged. Now you don't just need to own this season's must-have bag – you must also have tried the latest must-eat restaurant dish.
A new restaurant opens, and the bloggers are in before the paint is dry, uploading photos of their dinner. The Tweeters follow, and consensus rapidly emerges about the to-die-for dish: 'Ox cheek pappardelle at Obscura East...', 'Banh Mi sushi at The Endangered Panda...'. Before long, there is a feeding frenzy as early-adopters rush in to try the must-eat, and most importantly, to tell their friends they've tried it."

Friday, 26 November 2010

Gibraltar Chronicle - The Independent Daily First Published 1801: "easyJet, the UK's largest airline and which also claims to give best value, is today launching a brand new route to Gibraltar from Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

The low-fares airline is now offering a three-times-weekly service from Liverpool to the British-owned island with fares starting from just £27.99 (one-way, including taxes).
Seats are now on sale and the inaugural flight will leave Liverpool on Tuesday 29 March 2011."
Four More Restaurants in Spain Awarded Second Michelin Star, 17 Get First - Bloomberg: "Four more restaurants in Spain gained a second star and 17 were awarded their first in the Michelin guide to Spain & Portugal.
The new two-star establishments are Azurmendi, in Larrabetzu; Miramar, in Llanca; Ramon Freixa Madrid, in Madrid; and Calima (H.G. Melia Don Pepe), in Marbella. Vila Joya, in Albufeira, Praia de Gale, is Portugal’s only two-star venue.
Seven Spanish restaurants maintain their three-star rating: Arzak, in San Sebastian; Martin Berasategui, in Lasarte-Oria (Guipuzcoa); El Bulli, in Roses (Girona); Can Fabes, in Sant Celoni (Barcelona); Sant Pau, in Sant Pol de Mar (Barcelona); and El Celler de Can Roca, in Girona. There are no new stars for Portugal, which doesn’t have a restaurant with three."

Thursday, 25 November 2010

London Goes In Search of Halston: style file: daily fashion, party, and model news: "There was a conspicuous lack of anyone who could pass for that mythical beast, the Halstonette, in the noticeably young audience for the first U.K. screening of Ultrasuede: In Seach of Halston on Monday night at the Electric Cinema on Portobello Road. Andrea Dellal had fond memories of escorting the legendary designer round Rio, but surely she was a mere child at the time. Co-host of the evening Nicky Haslam also had some personal—though not particularly favorable—memories to share. But Halston’s best buddy Bianca Jagger was out of town—dommage!—and Liza Minnelli, André Leon Talley, and Pat Cleveland, all of whom lend major heft to the film, were hardly likely to cross the pond for such an intimate event."
Lagerfeld to design for a major mass market retailer - Fashion, Life & Style - The Independent: "Lagerfeld's women's collection will be sold in about 250 Macy's stores as well as online starting September 2011. It is part of the American department store chain's new initiative to launch a series of limited-edition designer collections for its Impulse range - geared towards younger, more fashion-forward customers - starting early next year.
The designer collections will rotate every two months and will start in February 2011 with Kinder Aggugini, a darling of the London fashion scene. Aggugini, who started his eponymous label four years ago, has previously worked with John Galliano, Paul Smith, Versace, Calvin Klein, and Vivienne Westwood. Priced on average from $40-$140, with specialty pieces selling up to $300, his line for Macy's will channel a rocker-chic aesthetic."

Luxury TV channel opened for holiday shopping season: "PoshTV, a new national 24-hour shopping network, has opened in the US.

Showcasing high-end designer jewelry, gemstones, accessories, handbags and shoes, the shopping channel airs on on DirecTV channel 314.

PoshTV, which offers a range of luxury merchandise at discounted prices, should reach 19.3 million viewers in all 50 states over the major retail buying season.

Some of the upmarket brands on offer through the channel are: Demeter, Steven Zale Beverly Hills, B. Smith, Effy and Paris Blues, as well as other celebrity-infused brands."
RONDA - AN olive oil produced by company LA Organic in Ronda has been named in Italian guide Flos Olei as one of the 20 best in the world. The olive oil obtained 90 points out of 97. A quarter of a litre of their Intense Organic Oro Virgin Extra Olive Oil will set you back €10.14.

A panel of experts selects the best oils from forty different countries, based on quality, taste, body and even packaging.

This year, only three Spanish oils were on the ranking, and the General Manager of LA Organic, Elisa Alvarez, says it is an important distinction, especially as it is the first time they have sent their oil for tasting.

Their oil was first made by a community of local nuns on the Finca La Amarilla, on the outskirts of Ronda, 200 years ago.

In the 1990a, the owners of the land, the Gomez de Baeza family, decided to produce ecological oil.
Kofi Annan will deliver the keynote address at the World Climate Change and Wine Congress in Spain in April.
The former United Nations Secretary-General and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize Kofi Annan will be the guest of honour at the Congress, which will take place on April 13-14 in Marbella.

The event is being organised by the Wine Academy of Spain and coordinated by its founder and president Pancho Campo MW.

Annan will deliver a presentation on "Sustainability, climate change and the corporate world".

The previous conference, held in Barcelona two years ago, attracted 350 delegates from over 40 countries.

Topics up for discussion will include the impact of climate change on oenology and viticulture, closures, packaging, transport, CO2 emissions, energy conservation, and the use of organic/biodynamic vine growing as measures for adapting to climate change.

There will be more than 20 speakers including biodynamic specialist Nicolas Joly, soil scientist Claude Bourguignon, winemaker Carlos Falcó of Spain's Marques de Griñón, Susan McCraith MW and climatologist Greg Jones of the University of Southern Oregon.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Buyers from mainland China and Hong Kong are ignoring the cooling of London’s property market as they continue to invest heavily in luxury real estate in Britain’s capital.

(live-PR.com) - Buyers from mainland China and Hong Kong are ignoring the cooling of London’s property market as they continue to invest heavily in luxury real estate in Britain’s capital.

Chinese real estate investors are snapping up luxury property in areas such as London’s fashionable Knightsbridge and Canary Wharfe.

Naomi Minegishi, a twenty one year old Japanese woman, who lived in China for ten
years, is a property broker in London.

When she was hired, Naomi had no previous real estate experience and was recruited because of her fluency in Mandarin. Recently, she has sold four, three-bedroom apartments in a new development for £320,000 ($500,000 USD) per unit – all of them to different Chinese investors.

“Chinese clients are a dream. They are wealthy, they pay in cash, and they’re looking for good value” she was quoted as saying.

In several up-market areas of London, Chinese investors have already become the main buyers of luxury property; replacing buyers from Russia and the Middle East.

In fact, the Chinese now account for five percent of all London property purchased by foreigners valued between £500,000 ($804,500 USD) and £1 million ($1.6 million USD).

British government figures also show that there were 115,000 Chinese people living in London by 2007, compared to only 80,000 in 2001.

The Chinese, unlike their Russian and Middle Eastern counterparts, are not buying London real estate to live in - most are looking for investments in a market they consider far more stable than their own.

This shift in nationality of buyers has resulted in brokers being eager to hire Mandarin and Cantonese speakers – some property developers have even omitted the number four from their numbering schemes, as it is considered unlucky in Chinese culture.

Mathhew Tack, director at Hampton’s London real estate agency commented; “Most developers in London are including China in their marketing efforts, they’d be silly not to.”

The increase in the number of buyers from Asia is a clear sign of the shift in wealth to Asian countries, including mainland China.

Most countries in Asia have recovered much faster from the global economic downturn as they are free of the huge levels of debt Western households and governments are now facing.

London remains popular due to Britain’s relaxed restrictions on foreigners owning real estate.

Culturally, the Chinese understand the importance of education and many parents hope to send their children to a top university. Britain is a popular choice as far more foreign students are admitted to British universities than to those in the USA.

Figures from the British Universities and Colleges Admissions Service show the number of Chinese students increased from 867 to 948 last year - a nine percent rise within twelve months.

One mainland Chinese investor who owns property in London said; “I bought a flat for my daughter’s use when she was studying in London and other flats I have rented out or sold. The U.K. traditionally has a very good legal structure with good law and order. That, together with the city’s financial institutions and the British people’s love for owning their own homes, makes the property market extremely attractive.”

Real estate brokers who cater for Chinese investors say it is not certain whether and when the demand from China will start to fall although there is no indication that this will happen soon.

Monday, 22 November 2010

The world's most expensive food and drink: "If money was no object would you splash out on a £5,000 jar of marmalade or £12,500 on a chocolate dessert? This culinary Christmas wish list is bursting with some of the world's priciest edible delights. From Italian White Alba truffles and Krug Champagne to Christmas hampers and lunch on the Orient Express, here at MSN Sainsbury's Food & Drink we've gone all out to create the ultimate, gastronomic Christmas wish list. Boasting some of the world's most luxurious food & drink buys, these indulgences could leave you feeling deliciously stuffed, and your wallet feeling considerably lighter."

Construction Starts at La Zagaleta’s Biggest Plot as the Super-Rich Remain Unaffected by Recession: "The word ‘recession’ may exist in the lives of the super-rich but it simply doesn’t affect them so the demand for bigger and better just gets stronger. The megayacht industry is far from sinking but instead struggling to keep up with orders and the waiting lists for prestige cars such as the new Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead extend over many months. It’s the same in La Zagaleta right now. Bolt Property Group villas, despite multi-million euro price tags, are selling quicker than ever in 2008 and it’s rare that we get to complete a property without there already being a buyer in place. C2-20 will be the landmark villa in our portfolio and, crunch or no crunch, I’m certain it’ll share the same fate.”

There are no prizes for guessing that C2-20 is targeting a Russian buyer, a nationality that finds La Zagaleta attractive, accessible and secure, but Bolt Property Group’s considered layout and bespoke finishings would suit any purchaser with a discerning palette. Counting no less than eight bedrooms, to include all-important staff and guest accommodation, the lower ground floor is perhaps the most decadent of spaces with a full Spa and gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, cinema, games room with bar and option for a bowling alley."
Super Rich | Rich Girl's Club - place where you want to be!: "Marbella is a high-profile place and I am even not afraid to call Marbella as the one of the most luxurious resort towns in the world. Marbella is the mix of Saint-Tropez and Monte Carlo with huge marina and exquisite parties, with numerous villas of some of the richest people on Earth. Marbella is a Mecca of prestigious charm and up scale living. If you are looking for relaxing retreat or an upbeat getaway for parties and entertainment, Marbella can meet any request with ease. Super-rich Saudi princes, Hollywood and various sports stars, European royalty and billionaire tycoons choose Marbella for their vacation and living."

The super-rich just got richer, and all they had to do was sit tight

The Estates Gazette Rich List 2010 indicates that the UK’s 250 richest real-estate investors are worth a combined £3 billion more than they were last year, thanks to a turnaround in commercial property prices.

Nearly £30 billion was wiped off the holdings of the richest 250 investors between 2007 and 2009, when their combined fortunes hit a low of £69 billion. However, according to Estates Gazette, real estate’s richest are now benefiting from the recovery in commercial property values that began in the third quarter of last year.

Julia Cahill, the list’s editor, said: “Property’s elite have been battered by the credit crunch and recession, but the latest list shows the resilience of fortunes built on good-quality assets, which are now recovering their lost value.”

Britain’s oldest landowning families have emerged from the recession the quickest, thanks in part to the resilience of the capital’s property market. The sixth Duke of Westminster remains the UK’s richest landlord, with holdings of £5.8 billion. The value of the assets of his property company Grosvenor Group, which include swaths of Mayfair, Belgravia and Knightsbridge, has risen by £300 million over the past 12 months.

Other important London landowners, including Earl Cadogan and family and Baroness Howard de Walden and family, are among the top ten wealthiest investors and have seen significant rises in the value of their assets. Yet the canny arrivistes of the property world have also fared well. David and Simon Reuben, who first made their fortune in Russia in the 1990s, sit at No 2 in the rich list and increased their net worth by £2.1 billion to £5.4 billion this year.

Another set of brothers, Ian and Richard Livingstone, whose London & Regional owns 60 worldwide hotels and a string of health clubs, including the upmarket David Lloyd Leisure, increased their net worth by £250 million to £1.65 billion.

The richest woman on the list is Baroness Howard de Walden, who comes in at No 9.

Julio Iglesias buys property in Ojén, Andalucia | AboutProperty.co.uk: "Until now, the mere 2,000 residents of Ojén, a petite village in the southern Spanish region of Andalucia, have enjoyed relative peace and quiet in their secluded homes.
But obscurity may no longer be an option, as a raft of new developments - not to mention a rather well-known lothario - look set to reinvent the whole area.
As Spanish celebrities go, there aren't many with a legacy and timeless appeal quite like global music star Julio Iglesias.
Having recently married his partner of 20 years, Dutch model Miranda Rijnsburger, the newlywed has chosen the quaint Andalucian setting of Ojén to call home."

Sean Connery told to cough up cash | Herald Sun: "SEAN Connery has been ordered by a Spanish judge to contribute to a $77 million bond as part of a money-laundering and property fraud investigation. Judge Ricardo Puyol named the former James Bond star as one of the individuals who must deposit the combined sum as surety in the probe into a number of property deals, including the 1998 sale of the actor's beachfront mansion near Marbella, Spain.
Connery and his wife Micheline made $8.5 million in the sale but allegedly failed to pay $2 million to the local authority.
The property was knocked down to allow for 72 luxury apartments to be built, despite planning permission for just five family houses.
The condominiums were said to have yielded a $75 million profit."

Sunday, 21 November 2010


Sean Connery The Judge And Marbella Property | TagzBook.com: "Well one has to ask why does it every time we seem to turn a corner with the Marbella property for sale market places does something seem to happen that makes you wonder what the people running the place are up to."
Jennifer Lopez to launch fashion range with Marc Anthony | CalcuttaTube: "Singer Jennifer Lopez is launching a fashion range with husband Marc Anthony.
The couple has signed a deal with department store Kohl’s and will work on a lifestyle fashion venture. The collection will include men’s wear, women’s wear and home-wear, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
The 41-year-old star said she only involves herself with projects if she can do something ‘superclose’ to her.
She said: ‘For me, whenever I get involved with something, I get really involved. Every business that I do get involved with is something that is superclose to my heart.’"
Victoria not interested in designing menswear : MyNews.in: "Singer-turned-fashion designer Victoria Beckham isn't interested in doing a menswear collection as she likes to try out her designs on herself first.
'I'm not really that interested, at the moment, in men's clothes,' femalefirst.co.uk quoted Victoria as saying.
'How on earth, as a male, do you design dresses for women? Because how I work is I actually put the dresses on myself. And I won't disclose any of their answers but quite a few of my male friends have actually said they do put the dresses on themselves. Because how else do you know how it feels?,' she said.
Victoria has three sons - Brooklyn, 11, Romeo, eight, and five-year-old Cruz - with footballer hubby David Beckham.
The former Spice Girl also said she has no intention to work with her husband on a line in the near future."
Kate Middleton shows classic, cool style sense | detnews.com | The Detroit News: "Kate Middleton's style is natural, unforced and unpretentious. She never seems to be trying too hard or worried about currying favor with the glittery world of fashion.
That's going to help — a lot — when the naturally beautiful young woman blessed with poise, dimples, long legs and perfect posture marries Prince William next year.
AdvertisementMiddleton is already one of the most photographed women in Britain — and with this week's engagement announcement, she immediately leaps to the top of the fashion world. That position was once occupied by Princess Diana, William's mother, who was killed in a 1997 car crash in Paris.
Like Diana, whose graceful style was widely imitated until her shockingly early death, Middleton's choices will be scrutinized by fashion editors worldwide and copied by retailers in the world's fashion capitals.
Middleton, 28, already has a distinctive look, one that emphasizes her long brown hair, pale skin and charismatic smile. She favors white and black over splashes of color and has shied away from London's radical street fashion in favor of mainstream looks"
There's plenty of ways to enjoy a cup of tea in London :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Travel: "Any visit to Britain’s sprawling capital requires a proper cup of tea or two, or 10.
To leave London without having tea is like going to Seattle and not having coffee or fleeing Paris without having wine.
The question is this: What kind of tea drinker are you? Centuries after British nobility infused the tea habit throughout their culture, tea drinking in today’s London can be enjoyed two ways: dressed up or dressed down.
The daily teatime tradition still thrives throughout the city — unadulterated but also with some creative, sometimes wacky, twists. Whether you take your tea with pinkies out in the afternoon or at other times of day (early morning, late night, as part of happy hour) with no jacket required, Britain’s megalopolis still offers teatime tastes for every palate.
On a recent well-steeped jaunt, we found everything from classic tea at the Ritz (all silver pots and tuxedoed waiters) to more casual afternoon teas with whiskey, gin and nearly naked burlesque dancers. Old-fashioned or newfangled, here are two different paths through the world’s capital of tea."

Juan Antonio Roca hands La Caridad estate to state | Olive Press Newspaper | News Spain: "estate worth 15 million euros is to be seized by the state to pay some of huge debts owed by former Marbella planning svengali Juan Antonio Roca.

Roca has agreed to hand over the La Caridad estate in San Pedro to pay off some of the 23 million euros he owes the authorities.
The eight hectare estate has a heliport, chapel, veterinary clinic and bodega.
Over 100 pure-bred horses valued at 400,000 euros were housed in the stables and a Miro painting was famously gracing one of the toilets.
Roca is currently being tried for his involvement in the Malaya corruption case."

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Spanish politicians have criticised a video by the Young Socialists in Catalonia in which a woman simulates an orgasm while casting her vote.

Both Socialist and opposition politicians have attacked the campaign video.

The equality minister called it "misleading" advertising.

In the video the young woman gets increasingly excited as she votes for the Socialist Party in this month's regional elections in Catalonia.

It concludes with the phrase, "Voting is a pleasure", after she puts her voting slip in the ballot box.

The leader of the conservative opposition Popular Party of Catalonia, Alicia Sanchez-Camacho, said the video was an "attack on the dignity of women".

The health minister, Leire Pajin, who is a Socialist, called on all parties to show respect for women and to act responsibly.

The Socialist equality minister, Bibiana Aido, said of the video: "If it was true, electoral participation would go up greatly, but I think we are dealing with a misleading advert."

'Crude' video
But the Socialist Party of Catalonia 's leader, Jose Montilla, who is standing for re-election, said, "If it encourages people to vote, it's a good thing".

However, speaking in a TV interview he appeared surprised to learn that it was a video by the youth wing of his own party.

A spokesman for the conservative CiU party, Josep Antoni Duran Lleida, said that the "crude" video would damage participation.

The leader of the Green coalition in Catalonia, Joan Herrera, said it would be "very difficult to reach orgasm voting for any of the candidates, myself included".

It is not the first controversial video to be brought out by a Catalan party ahead of the 28 November elections.

An anti-racism group, SOS Racismo, says it has complained to the public prosecutor about a video game by the Popular Party, in which Alicia Sanchez-Camacho takes on the guise of film and video game heroine Lara Croft to fight illegal immigrants and pro-independence Catalans.

The game was removed from the party's website hours after its launch, with the PP saying the developer did not follow instructions properly.
Hollywood star Wesley Snipes has been ordered by a US judge to surrender to authorities to start serving a three-year jail term for tax-related crimes.

Florida Judge William Terrell Hodges rejected a request from Snipes' lawyers to review his sentence and grant a new trial.

In April 2008, Snipes, 48, was found guilty of deliberately failing to file tax returns for 1999, 2000 and 2001.

He then launched an appeal and has been on bail ever since.

The actor, whose films include the Blade trilogy, was cleared of more serious fraud and conspiracy charges.

'Calm and positive'
"The defendant Snipes had a fair trial; he has had a full, fair and thorough review of his conviction and sentence," Judge Hodges wrote in his decision on Friday.

"The time has come for the judgement to be enforced," he said.

It was not immediately clear when and where Snipes had to surrender.

However, his defence attorney Daniel Meachum later said he planned to appeal at the US Supreme Court, the Associated Press reports.

Mr Meachum said that Snipes, who was in Atlanta to film a movie, remained "incredibly calm and positive".

"He wasn't angered. He wasn't bitter."

Snipes' lawyers had argued his 2008 sentence was "unreasonable".

The actor earned more than $37m (£24m) in gross income between 1999 and 2004 but did not file individual federal income tax returns for any of those years, according to official court papers.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Property News | London's most iconic hotels to be sold to Middle East: "Claridge's, Grosvenor House, the Berkeley and the Connaught are all possible targets for foreign investment that could launch London as a new ‘luxury hotspot'.
The prediction is part of a WTM Global Trends Report, released at World Travel Market, an annual travel industry conference which is currently being held in London.
Caroline Bremner, a spokesperson for market research company Euromonitor International, which carried out the study, says: ‘The UK is ripe for investment from the Middle East with attractive property prices and the value of the pound.
‘We anticipate visitors from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to the UK to increase significantly in the next four years.'
The Qatari royal family recently bought Harrods for £1.5bn and a Middle East consortium is behind the construction of the £2bn ‘Shard of Glass' tower."
UK : Timorous Beasties scoops ‘British Luxury Design Talent’ title - Textile News UK: "Textiles and wallpaper design specialist, Timorous Beasties took the ‘Best Luxury Design Talent’ title on Monday 15 November at the prestigious Walpole 2010 awards in London.

The Glasgow-based company beat off stiff competition, including fellow Scot Christopher Kane, to scoop the title which recognises designers that have maintained the highest standard of British design talent through innovation, design and product quality during the year.

Reflecting on the win, Alistair McAuley, joint Partner said:“What a fabulous honor to be recognised as the ‘British Luxury Design Talent for 2010’. To receive this accolade is true endorsement of our hard work from our peers in the luxury industry, and even more special as we approach the 21st birthday of Timorous Beasties.”

Timorous Beasties’ experimental approach to both hand-printing and machine production, often depicting uncompromisingly contemporary images on traditional textiles and wallpapers caught the eyes of the judging panel which included Marcus Fairs, editor of Dazeen magazine, and David Kester, CEO of Design Council."
Orient Express and London’s National Gallery Launch “The Art of Travel” | Travel Video News: "Orient Express, the luxury train operator, has announced that in April 2011 it will launch “The Art of Travel” — a series of art tours to Venice, Paris and within England, in conjunction with London’s renowned National Gallery. Participants will learn about the lives of artists such as Canaletto, Bellini, Titian, Veronese, Monet, Rubens, Turner and Constable – seeing the places that inspired their work and notable places that house their work today, accompanied by a National Gallery expert."
Diamond sells for $46m: "rare pink diamond that is regarded as one of the most desirable and beautiful in the world was sold for a record $46.16 million US on Tuesday, smashing previous auction records for the sale of any single diamond or jewel, Sotheby's said.
Sotheby's had valued the 24.78 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond mounted on a ring at $27 million to $38 million ahead of the sale in a luxury lakeside hotel.
Sotheby's said the buyer is Laurence Graff, a London-based diamond dealer."
Glam Media Creates New Sales Team Focused on International Luxury & Premium Advertisers | Business Wire: ")--Glam Media, the leading vertical media company with the #1 global reach for women online, today announced it is opening a premium brand sales team based out of its international headquarters in London.
“Where we work with premium brands in local markets, for instance Dior and Chanel in Japan, our focus will be to grow these relationships internationally by developing global, integrated advertising solutions”The new sales team has been set up to develop and manage online advertising campaigns for international-based brands across Glam Media’s portfolio of websites which attract more than 197 million unique users worldwide (comScore September 2010). Isabelle Sommet and Candace Droz, who will serve as Co-Directors of International Sales, will head the division.
The launch of the new sales team follows the opening of Glam Media’s International Headquarters in London in January 2010 to help drive the company’s worldwide business expansion. The company currently has international offices in the UK, France, Germany and Japan with additional sales operations in Australia, Brazil, and South Korea. Glam Media Labs, based in Pune, India, supports Glam Media global ad operations and R&D.
The formation of the international sales team follows increased demand from multinational advertisers, particularly premium brands, for integrated, global advertising solutions. The international sales team will be responsible for leveraging existing advertiser relationships or establishing new ones where required."

Cadillac unveils concept for Mini-size urban car - Drive On: A conversation about the cars and trucks we drive - USATODAY.com: "Cadillac unveiled its Urban Luxury Concept at a pre-L.A. Auto Show event at GM's South California advanced design center.

The Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept unveiled at the General Motors North Hollywood Advanced Design Center in California.The Mini Cooper-size Caddy city concept has doors that open by rotating forward rather than hinging out. Like Aston Martin's tiny Cygnet shown in London this week, Caddy is another luxury-car maker looking at what vehicles it can provide for dense urban areas where parking is tough and streets are crowded and narrow.
Cadillac says the four-seater's drivetrain is a concept gas-electric hybrid system with a 1-liter, 3-cylinder turbo gasoline engine that potentially could get 56 mpg city, 65 mpg highway."
Nine in race for staging Solheim Cup - Scotsman.com Sport: "FOREST Pines in Lincolnshire is one of nine venues in the running to stage the 2015 Solheim Cup.
Six of those candidates have made their bids public, the others being La Manga and the Costa del Sol (Spain), Gut Kaden and Sporting Club Berlin (Germany) and Prosper Golf Resort (Czech Republic).

The Costa del Sol bid would allow the Ladies European Tour to select the most suitable venue in the region.

'We are delighted with the interest these parties have expressed in The 2015 Solheim Cup, showing the strength of the tournament and popularity of women's golf,' said director of operations Mark Casey.

A timescale for the decision-making process will be set at next month's LET Board meeting. Next year's Solheim Cup is being played at Killeen Castle near Dublin"
Euro Weekly News | Artist Charlotte Gordon will launch a major show of her work in Las Lagunas, Mijas-Costa. | Costa del Sol | News | The Largest English Language Newspapers in Spain: "resident and working artist on this coast for more than 40 years, Charlotte Gordon is internationally known for her boldly inventive ceramic sculpture and etchings.
In this retrospective exhibit - her first for over 20 years - Gordon will introduce a stunning new collection of multi-media collages and sculptures.
Blending 2 and 3-D elements - some found, some custom built - these witty assemblages make us look at familiar objects in ways that are both fresh and moving. Entitled 'Charlotte Gordon: Colecctionista' the show is a shining example of a cultural sophistication often overlooked on the Costa Del Sol and merits enhanced public attention.
The opening reception will take place this Friday at 8pm at the Casa de Cultura, Las Lagunas, C/San Valentin, Mijas Costa.
Normal visiting hours are 10am to 2pm and 5pm to 8pm Monday through Friday.
The show will remain open until December 10."
Euro Weekly News | Poker on the Costa Del Sol .94 million | David Dancey | Columns | The Largest English Language Newspapers in Spain: "NOT a bad payday for a few weeks work. Yes young Canadian poker player Jonathan Duhamel, just 23 years old, has picked up this colossal sum of money for being the last man standing and winner of the 2010 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
Last year was 21 year old American college dropout Joe Cada and the year before 23 year old Dane Peter Eastgate.
All these young men have won an absolutely life changing amount of money after making a decision to try and make a career out of playing poker. In fact Peter Eastgate has even retired at the tender age of 25 from the world of Texas Hold-em.
What we notice here is the age of these kids; they are the new breed of poker player born out of the world of Online Poker.
No longer is the game considered to be a hunting ground for middle aged cigar smoking, whisky drinking, Stetson wearing gamblers, sitting in seedy smoke filled dives, with nicknames like Maverick and The Cincinnati Kid, no to the contrary, it is a global phenomenon played by millions and generating billions in turnover."
The Canadian Press: Pilgrims, trekkers seek salvation and escape on ancient road, Camino de Santiago: "A pilgrim heading to Santiago de Compostela in ancient times could expect a warm meal and a bed after a long day's walk. Today you can expect a bar serving hamburgers, free Wi-Fi, and a decision about whether a reiki or watsu treatment would better relieve your foot pain.
The pilgrimage known as the Camino de Santiago, Spanish for the Way of St. James, has existed for more than 1,000 years.
The most travelled among several ancient routes leading to Santiago de Compostela, in northwestern Spain, is the Camino Frances, nearly 800 kilometres long. It starts from the French side of the Pyrenees Mountains and leads to the town of Santiago, home to an ornate cathedral and a tomb where the apostle's remains are believed to be interred.
In a visit to the cathedral Nov. 6, Pope Benedict said he had come to Spain as a pilgrim, just like the millions of others who have made their way here. He held an open-air mass at the cathedral attended by thousands of the faithful, and he prayed at St. James' tomb.
Walking the full trail can take anywhere from six to eight weeks. The Catholic church traditionally considered it one of three pilgrimages — alongside Rome and Jerusalem — that awarded forgiveness of all of one's sins.
The trip was popular during medieval times, but the number of pilgrims declined over the years because of European wars and political changes. The tradition was revived in the 1980s, when the route adapted itself to an age of mass tourism yet managed to remain modest in nature and resist over-development."

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

BBC News - Rare pink diamond set to fetch millions: "Despite global financial worries across the world, many experts believe a rare pink diamond, being auctioned in Geneva later, could fetch a world record price.
It is said to be one of the most important gemstones to ever be sold at auction.
Imogen Foulkes reports."

Monday, 15 November 2010

. But now it's her fashion range that's making news.
Her fourth range for High Street store Peacocks hits the shelves this weekend and it has caused such a stir that

Pearl's not the only celeb to try their hand at designing. Last month Amy Winehouse launched her collection for classic brand Fred Perry and Kate Moss's 14th collection for Topshop has landed in stores.
The London Edition marks the latest new property announcement for a brand which only opened the doors of its first property a few weeks ago in Hawaii.

It will be situated in the former Berners Hotel, a converted residence in London's bustling Fitzrovia media district which has been closed since 2006, and is set to open between 18 and 24 months from now.

The building will now be totally redeveloped by Ian Schrager, Marriott's partner in the Edition venture and the man credited with creating the "boutique hotel" genre.

Marriott president Arne Sorenson said that that property offered a "great location and beautiful facade," describing it as a "perfect canvas for creating a true work of art".

Reviews of the first Edition property opened in September in Honolulu, Hawaii, have been overwhelmingly positive, although the company's statement November 8 confirmed that the Edition Istanbul, originally expected to be open by the end of 2010, will instead open in the first half of 2011.

The new London property will join a host of other openings from names such as W Hotels, Shangri-La and Sol Melia, which are set to transform the London hotel market over the next two years ahead of the start of the 2012 Olympic Games.
The best Christmas wines | Life and style | The Observer: "El Chaparral de Vega Sindoa Old Vine Garnacha, Navarra, Spain 2008 (£6.99, if you buy two bottles, Majestic)
I'm not sure I've ever come across a better garnacha (aka grenache) at this price. Produced from very old bush vines in Navarra, it's full of character, tastes of fresh raspberries and pepper, and has a lovely silky texture."
The Luxury Real Estate Market in Spain: "One thing above all others is very clear in Spain amongst a plethora of other countries, that is that the real estate sector has suffered horrendously in the last couple of years. The market can be segmented though and some areas have responded better than others of course. The better areas were cushioned from the recession and the areas of individual luxury Spanish villas and luxury real estate in Spain have fared a lot better than the areas where there are an oversupply of similar properties aiming at the middle or lower ends of the Spanish property market.
In Spain the luxury real estate market is now looking reasonably healthy. Prices have certainly dropped but they were the first to stabilise as soon as the excess stock was absorbed. Many people who had overstretched themselves got into trouble as interest rates rose to levels they hadn't been before and others in that area were bankers, lawyers and other professionals etc... whose industries disappeared almost overnight and they were unable to pay the large mortgage repayments that came with the territory."
Spain's rich eye high yield deposits | Reuters: "Spain limps out of a deep recession amid concerns it could still face a Greek-style debt crisis, many of its rich are betting on high yield domestic bank deposits to preserve their capital base.
In the last few months, the large Spanish SICAVS -- the investment vehicles tailor-made for the wealthy -- have increased to 16 percent from 6 percent the allocation for these deposits in their portfolios, according to end-June data from stock market regulator CNMV.
Spain's biggest bank Santander (SAN.MC) was first out of the starting gate in the race to capture deposits in January, offering interest rates of up to 4 percent.
This compares with ordinary deposit rates more like 1 to 2 percent, depending on the bank, while Spanish treasury bills are yielding not much more than 2 percent."

Ladies of a certain age might need to reach for the smelling salts. A year after severing his ties with Britain and declaring that he felt more European than British, James Hewitt is coming home.
But, thanks to a remarkable transformation in his fortunes, the copper-haired cad is coming back not with his tail between his legs but as a partner in a successful business.
Princess Diana’s former lover has been based on Spain’s Costa del Sol on and off for the past five years and last year opened a polo-themed bar and restaurant in Marbella.

Smiles again: James Hewitt is to launch a Polo themed restaurant in London
After a slow start it has proved a popular spot and Hewitt, whose previous commercial adventures ended in disaster, has turned out to have a business brain after all.
Buoyed by their success, Hewitt and his partner Ram Nandkishore plan to bring the Polo House to London and are looking for properties in Mayfair and Chelsea.
‘We are also looking at Los Angeles and Dubai. Since I know London so well, it makes sense for me to be doing it there,’ says former cavalry officer Hewitt.
He previously invested in a Docklands golf driving range and a riding school before some tacky adventures in reality television and cashing in on his relationship with Diana by selling his memoirs.
‘I have made mistakes, of course I have,’ Hewitt tells me.
‘I know I said I was quitting Britain, but that was because I felt I was hated there.
‘What I have been struck by is the reaction from our customers, who are predominantly British.
They say to me 'Well, we don’t hate you' and 'Why don’t you open a place like this back home?' ’
Last year, Hewitt likened himself to a gypsy when he melodramatically told me he had been ‘cast out’ by the world and felt he didn’t belong anywhere.
Two years ago, Hewitt sold his Chelsea flat, but is now looking to start again.
A friend of the Life Guards officer — mentioned in dispatches in the first Gulf War — says: ‘He took a huge gamble out in Marbella, but against the odds it’s been a success when people said it was mad to open a restaurant at a time of recession.
‘James realises he is not quite public enemy number one any more and is coming back not as a loser but as a winner.’


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1329721/James-Hewitt-eyes-Mayfair-.html#ixzz15MYIBfDV

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Celebs manage a quiet divorce - Sowetan LIVE: "'AM to PM' singer is said to be “delighted” with the deal she and the rapper - who she married in Las Vegas in September 2009 and has eight-month-old daughter Violet with – have agreed without having to go to court to thrash out the details of their separation.
Christina's attorney Randy Kessler told gossip website TMZ: 'Ms. Milian strongly believes that peaceful resolution is better for their child and she is very pleased with the settlement and that it was accomplished out of court.'
Although the terms of the settlement are being kept confidential, lawyers for each are expected to submit the paperwork to a judge in Fulton County, Georgia in the near future."

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