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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