Why George Michael Kept His Homosexual Lifestyle Secret?

Andrew Johnson

The pop singer George Michael has revealed how years of hiding his homosexuality from the public took a deep psychological toll - but he did it so his mother wouldn't have to worry about Aids.

Speaking on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, the songwriter, who has sold more than 100 million records and is the most played artist on British radio, gave an unusually candid interview, during which he discussed drug-taking, his sexuality, the price of fame and the death of his first lover.

Michael, the son of Cypriot immigrants, who has always had a difficult relationship with the press and has been guarded about his personal life, admitted to presenter Kirsty Young that he is "ridiculously ready to say these things now".

He said hiding his sexuality made him feel "fraudulent", and his eventual outing, when he was arrested for soliciting sex in a public toilet in Los Angeles in 1998, was a subconsciously deliberate act.

"What people have to acknowledge ... is that there's a level of honesty that's natural to me [and] that I'm uncomfortable with anything else," Michael said.

"So firstly, understand how much I love my family and that Aids was the predominant feature of being gay in the 1980s and early 90s as far as any parent was concerned ... My mother was still alive and every single day would have been a nightmare for her thinking what I might have been subjected to.

"I'd been out to a lot of people since 19. I wish to God it had happened then. I don't think I would have the same career - my ego might not have been satisfied in some areas - but I think I would have been a happier man."

He added that he came out to some people, including one of his two sisters, when he was 19, but friends advised him not to tell his parents.

"Then Aids changed everything. I was too immature to know I was sacrificing as much as I was," he says.

He also spoke about his community service following his recent conviction for driving while under the influence of sleeping pills, which has seen him work with mentally ill and homeless people.

Michael spoke of his early career, claiming that a bang on the head when he was eight led to an obsession with music.

He added he "resents" the success of his career which "never seems to suffer".

"I never had any feeling that my talent was going to let me down. [My career] never seems to suffer. I suffer around it - bereavement, public humiliations - but my career just seems to right itself like a duck in the bath."

Michael said that when he had his first hit with Andrew Ridgeley as Wham! at the age of 18, it was wonderful for a time, but the experience of fame quickly soured.

"For a while it was just magical," he said.

"With your best mate, playing out your fantasies. It was just a dream. I was supremely confident I was writing pop classics but I was also supremely aware that if I left the imagery a little bit more to Andrew, kids loved it.

"Then we were massively successful and I went from being Andrew's shadow as a sexually confident being to being the centre of attention. At that level I lost all my confidence. I suddenly felt like a fake, so the whole thing turned me into somebody who felt the camera was my enemy."

Among his current musical selections are Amy Winehouse, Nirvana and Rufus Wainwright.

Of Wainwright's Going to a Town, he says: "It really lays into the Bush administration, talking about America soaking the body of Jesus Christ in blood. Fantastic lyrics."

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Rob Lowe's profile

Jay Rayner

In his first scene in Brothers & Sisters, Rob Lowe's character, a Republican senator and veteran of the first Gulf War called Robert McAllister, is seen pleading for seriousness from the media. He wants to talk policy, but he knows the equally Republican firebrand TV pundit played by Calista Flockhart is also going to ask him about his divorce and whether he slipped it to the nanny.

It is a scene Lowe could play as himself. He is eager to talk about the business of playing politicians on screen, and rouses himself from his jetlag when I mention I was a big fan of The West Wing, and his dry, deadpan performance as Sam Seaborn, the deputy communications director. But he also knows that there might be a McAllister moment here for him somewhere down the line - in his case involving booze, a threesome with an underage girl and a notorious sex tape. In the new show he offers to buy Flockhart an espresso if she'll dodge the subject. I'm less bribable and anyway, I've just had coffee. At the time, the threesome was expected to spell the end of a promising career. That it didn't, that Lowe turned it around, makes him all the more interesting.

We'll get there in time. For the moment though, Lowe, who is 43, is happier describing the journey that took him from pretty boy, bratpack roles in movies like St Elmo's Fire in the 1980s, to playing dependable, conviction politicians.

This afternoon, at a central London hotel, he looks tired from the flight, slumped on the over-stuffed sofa, and admits he's wiring himself on caffeine. Still, he has that well-tended and tanned glow of the high-wattage star, though the gorgeous cheesecake looks have been softened a little by age.

"Let's just say that the passing of the years has done for me what I could not do for myself," he says, when I suggest he's been on an interesting journey.

He says there's nothing peculiar about the way he keeps turning up on screen as various kinds of party hack. "I'm a political junkie," he says. When he was eight he sold Kool-Aid door to door for George McGovern, the Democrat contender in the 1972 presidential election who was defeated by Richard Nixon's landslide, and more recently he campaigned for Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor of California.

Lowe grew up in Ohio until his parents divorced and he moved with his mother to Malibu to live with her second husband, a psychiatrist. It was an intriguing place for a precocious kid who had already announced he wanted to be an actor. Martin Sheen and his boys lived two doors down, and Sean Penn and his late brother were nearby too, though Lowe points out that he got there "before Martin had done Apocalypse Now. It was before any of us were famous."

It was just a middle-class beachside community in the days before Bob Dylan rolled up and bought up the shore; a defiantly left-wing community which pretty much guaranteed he would arrive in adulthood as a registered Democrat. Lowe says he has since made a familiar middle-aged family-man's journey towards the centre and now describes himself as an independent.

That makes his switch from Seaborn in the impeccably liberal West Wing to the role of conservative politician in Brothers & Sisters all the more believable.

"You have to recognise what my character is, though," Lowe says. "McAllister is a Rockefeller Republican, a Schwarzenegger Republican. Which is shorthand for saying that anywhere other than California he'd be a Democrat."

Still, he is a Republican, right at the heart of a mainstream American drama, and that in itself is intriguing. As its name suggests, Brothers & Sisters is essentially an old-fashioned family piece. It follows the lives of liberal, recently widowed matriarch Nora, played by Sally Field, and those of her adult children, beneath the Californian sun.

It's no surprise to learn that the producer, Ken Olin, was also the star of thirtysomething, for it has a lot of that to it, along with a dash of updated Dynasty and The Colbys thrown in. The script drips with the American tendency to emotional incontinence, and it's clear that Lowe's character is more important as potential love interest for Flockhart than as a speech maker.

But there is an added element that lifts it all beyond mere domestic intrigue. Brothers & Sisters is attempting to be the first post-9/11 drama. The terrorist attacks on America are specifically referenced, and one brother, Justin, is a complete screw-up because of his military service in Afghanistan. By the same token, Flockhart's character, Kitty Walker, is allowed to pursue the sort of hardcore conservative values that represent the chasm that has opened up in American politics, neatly creating a mother-daughter clash.

It's a big change from The West Wing, which paid lip service to America's drift to the right. That, Lowe says, was one of the reasons he was attracted to the role.

"The writer, Jon Robin Baitz, came to me and said 'we're going to create a believable Republican'." Not that they had it all worked out. "The show was already on the air when they came up with the idea for my character. It gave me a more proprietorial role. It happened so late that to a certain extent we were making it up as we went along."

I'm curious as to whether playing these political parts has made him feel a certain responsibility towards his audience. I was such a West Wing junkie that - sitting with the guy who, in the show, had such a certain moral compass, who could make the killer political speech - I almost want to discuss the state of the Bush Government more than the fluff of acting.

Lowe gives a gee-shucks kind of shrug. "I do feel like the recipient of people's longing for a certain type of political discourse and administration," he says. His voice drops to a conspiratorial whisper.

"People still stop me in the street, and it's clear from what they say that they wished the certainties of The West Wing really existed."

It is also clear that having a part in the new character's development appeals hugely to him. After leaving The West Wing he went on to star in and, more importantly, take a production role on a couple of series - The Lyon's Den and Dr Vegas. Though both failed, he agrees he'd like to do more of that in the future. Indeed he accepts that, while film is where he started, working alongside the likes of Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise and Matt Dillon, television has been much kinder to him.

"Movies have become huge corporate events, which is why you see a lot of actors gravitating towards TV," he says. "I'd like to build a TV company for myself. I've rather fallen in love with it."

I ask whether he's ever surprised by the path his career has taken. He smiles. He knows where this is going.

"As a guy approaching my mid-40s I have had that Talking Heads moment, when you sit up and say, 'how did I get here?"' And does he regret anything? Famously, he and the rest of the bratpack were wild boys, who drank and screwed their way about Hollywood.

Then came the incident in 1988 - his McAllister Moment - when he got into trouble at the Democratic National convention in Atlanta while campaigning for presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.

He picked up two girls in a bar for a threesome, which was videotaped. The girls made a recording, which later became one of the first mass-marketed celebrity sex tapes. It turned out one was only 16. Lowe argued that, as he had met the girls in a bar, it had been reasonable to assume they were of legal age, though he eventually settled a claim out of court. He also went into rehab.

"I regret nothing," Lowe says. "I wouldn't be where I am today without my mistakes. Particularly my mistakes. Exclusively my mistakes."

There's no doubt he's said all this before, many times, and that he's got the sincerity down pat. Then again, at the time he did provide a masterclass in how to deal with scandal. For one, he insisted on working, taking smaller stuff than he'd been used to. But he was also quick to ridicule himself before anybody else did. His appearance hosting Saturday Night Live in 1990, when he played up to all the tabloid gags about him - lascivious, sex-obsessed, vacuous good-time boy - fixed him firmly in the affections of the audience.

He tells me: "I'm 17 years sober now. It's given me everything - my wife, my children. I'm still as wild as I used to be but in a different way." What way? I am expecting a Hollywood answer, and boy do I get one. "I throw it into my work, athletics, my kids. The great addicts and alcoholics have great qualities." And he also says he doesn't demand special behaviour from others around him. "Only I could be sober and have one of the biggest wine cellars in the world." Really? "My wife looks after it. I draw the line at dealing with the wine. But I'm not a Nazi about it. If someone wants to get slammed round my house, they can."

I mention that the multi-millionaire porn baron Al Goldstein, who was responsible for releasing the sex tape, had since fallen on hard times, losing both his fortune and his house. Lowe sits bolt upright, intrigued.

"Wow, I hadn't heard that." So he doesn't Google himself? "No way. That would be staring into the eye of the beast."

In any case, he has more than enough evidence of his notoriety. Recently he was taking part in a golf tournament in Iowa when one of his shots hit and killed a goldfinch in flight. For the first time, faced with an anecdote he hasn't told to death, Lowe looks genuinely enthused. "Some actuarials worked out the odds were one in 247 million. I could have won the lottery with those sorts of odds."

A journalist with the golfers filed a report from his Blackberry while on the course. "The shot happened on the fourth hole. By the 18th hole my own Blackberry was buzzing with emails from friends in Europe asking about it."

But that's where the role he plays and the job he does separate. For a real politician like Senator McAllister such an incident would be the stuff of nightmares. For an actor, whose career has survived sex scandals and alcoholism, it's just another quirky story.


Who: Rob Lowe.
Born: Robert Hepler Lowe, March 17 1964, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Married: To makeup artist Sheryl Berkoff in 1991 and has two children, Edward (born 1993) and John (1995). Former girlfriends include actress Melissa Gilbert, Nastassja Kinski and Princess Stephanie of Monaco.
Breakthrough: In bratpack movies The Outsiders, Class and St Elmo's Fire.
Scandal: While attending the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, Lowe videotaped himself having sex with two women, one of whom was 16. The video was leaked, and a media furore ensued. Later, he mocked his own behaviour on Saturday Night Live.
Awards: Lowe was twice nominated for a Golden Globe, and once for an Emmy, for his role as Sam Seaborn in The West Wing. He had more luck with the Razzies, winning worst supporting actor for his performance in St Elmo's Fire in 1985.
Latest: Appearing on Brothers & Sisters.
Where and when: TV2, Mondays, 8.30pm.

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Michael Jackson NOT Married To Grace Rwaramba

A representative for pop star Michael Jackson has denied that the singer has tied the knot with his children's nanny, Grace Rwaramba.

The denial from Raymone Bain comes in response to a sudden flurry of reports stating that he swapped vows with Grace in the courtroom during this trial on child-molestation charges in 2005.

"Wide spreading reports regarding Michael Jackson being married are not true. Documents stating otherwise are a hoax," E!online quoted her as saying in a statement.

Earlier on Thursday, the official website for the National Enquirer reported that Jackson knew that Grace would make a perfect mother of his children.

"Grace was happy to go along with it. She's always been devoted to Michael and has raised the kids since the day they were born. Michael knew she'd make a perfect stepmother," the website quoted a source supposedly close to the pair as saying.

The newspaper also claimed having obtained a real estate document on which Jackson referred to himself as a "married man".

Jackson was married to Lisa Marie Presley from 1994 to 1996. Months after their divorce was finalized he married Deborah Rowe, who gave birth to his two older children, 10-year-old Prince Michael Jackson Jr. and nine-year-old Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, before the couple split in 1999.

The singer has never revealed the identity of the mother of his five-year-old son, Blanket.

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George Clooney And Sarah Larson Out After The Motorcycle Crash

George Clooney’s new ladylove Sarah Larson was a small-town hippie who loved playing bongos and going camping, reveals her ex boyfriend.

Musician Tommy McKaughan, Larson’s childhood sweetheart, reveals that the slender brunette was a ‘hippie chick’ at heart.

“Sarah believes everyone has a soulmate, and I think she would make a great soulmate for George. She was a hippie chick who was the rebel of her family,” the Sun quoted him, as saying.

He also insists that if Clooney is ready to settle down and raise a family, Larson would be the perfect candidate.

“If George truly wants to settle down and have children, Sarah would make an excellent mum. During high school she had a part-time job at a local day-care centre rocking babies to sleep,” he said.

Tommy, a singer with psychedelic rock band Pizza T and the Z Kamp Express, also revealed Larson’s musical side.

“She played bongos and the guitar, burned incense and candles and loved camping in woods and going on road trips to concerts,” he said.

Clooney and Larson at the Ocean's Thirteen premiere party in the hotel in June.

The actor was smitten, and Larson was soon spotted romancing the actor at the Venice film festival, wearing 1.5million pounds worth of Bulgari diamonds.

Following their stint in Venice, the couple boarded Clooney’s private jet and headed off to France to attend the Deauville film festival.

The couple however found themselves in hospital recently after the motorcycle they were riding was hit by a car in New Jersey.

While Clooney suffered a hairline fracture of a rib and road rash, Larson was left with a broken foot.

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Korean Overseas Sex Traders To Be Stripped Of Passports

Bae Ji-sook

The government announced a plan to seize the passports of people caught buying sex overseas, following recent news reports that a growing number of South Korean men are being arrested for the sexual exploitation of trafficked women while traveling abroad. For instance, 30 South Koreans citizens have been detained in China for buying sex as of July this year, up from 11 last year.

The government plans to legislate a passport revision bill that would enable it to confiscate the passports of locals involved in international sex trafficking, officials said.

The revision bill, approved by the Cabinet on Sept. 4, has been submitted to the ongoing National Assembly session.

The measures will be jointly applied by the prosecution and the police along with the Justice Ministry, the Ministry of Gender Equality, the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

In Korea the Special Regulation Law on Prostitution legally punishes those involved in sex trade.

However, controversial voices are being raised over the three-year-old law intended to protect women in the sex industry and punish the owners of illegal brothels.

Since its implementation on Sept. 24, 2004, the law raised public awareness about the industry, but drove people involved further underground, critics said. They are now questioning its effectiveness.

In the early days of implementation, police cracked down on infamous red-light areas such as ``Miari Texas'' in northern Seoul, shutting down many brothels. Even neighboring shop owners protested the action saying they could not make living anymore.

However, three years later, some say prostitution has evolved in a new direction. The Internet has become the place where pimping takes place and new outlets under names such as ``massage shops,'' or ``herb shops,'' are opening even in residential areas.

In May 2006 a survey found 2,663 women working in 1,097 traditional type brothels where women sit in front of glass show windows waiting to be picked. However, the number of people now involved in prostitution is estimated to have increased three times, experts presumed. New outlets offer a variety of ``services'' including escort services and phone sex.

Online prostitution lures not only adults, but teenagers, too. Also, the presence of outlets in residential areas gives easy access to underage people.

The life of workers has not improved either. News has emerged that increasing numbers of women sex-workers have committed suicide owing to frustration or increasing debt. Though they want to get out, their heavy debt carrying high interest rates forces them to remain in the business, civic activists working to help them say.

According to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, 60.3 percent of 1,234 men and 773 women interviewed said they believed overseas prostitution would increase. Also, 29.1 percent said the sex industry here would expand, which was more than the 21.3 percent who believed it would shrink.

The law played a positive role in raising awareness about sex issues the ministry said. According to the survey, 75.2 percent said they saw prostitution as a social crime, higher than last year's 54.6 percent. About 570 men who paid for sex said they had frequented prostitutes less this year.

The ministry also claimed that the law reduced the number of brothels by 41 percent and female sex workers by 55 percent. It said 35,000 people were caught paying for sex and 560 women illegally held inside brothels had been freed.

Also, it claimed that the law helped women involved in the business to rehabilitate. A total of 1,200 women took job training that gave them certificates in computer skills or hair dressing to help them to start a new life, and 1,100 people had got new jobs or pursued academic careers.

Rep. Moon Hee of the main opposition Grand National Party said that what was needed was to help women who want to get out of prostitution start a new life and let people know that prostitution does not bring happiness. ``That will be the most effective way to cut down prostitution and the illegal sex trade,'' she said at a symposium held Wednesday to evaluate the performance of the law.

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Temporary Marriage In Iran

Dinesh D'Souza

I wasn't in the audience at Columbia, so I didn't get to pose a question to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I would have guessed that he is pretty capable of answering questions about the Holocaust ("at least we didn't do it") and Iran's nuclear aspirations ("entirely peaceful").

Even his stated goal of wiping Israel off the map doesn't break the register on my surprise-o-meter. Nor would I be entirely astonished if there are many leaders in Israel who'd like to see today's Iran wiped off the map.

I would have liked to ask Ahmadinejad about the Shia practice of sigheh (in Farsi) or muta (in Arabic). This is the practice, widespread in Iran, of "temporary marriage." Such marriages are forbidden in Sunni Islam but they are permitted in Shia Islam.

The origin of temporary marriage is in the early days of Islam, when warriors would go to faraway battles and not return home for several months or even years. During this period, they were permitted to enter into temporary marriages which could be dissolved after an agreed-upon period by the man simply proclaiming the end of the arrangement.

Since Islam allows polygamy up to four wives, this was not considered a radical departure from the rules of the Koran.

Whatever you think of the original arrangement, it is mightily abused today in Iran. Mullahs who are traveling on pilgrimages routinely take temporary wives, sometimes for a week, sometimes for a day, sometimes for a few hours. In the West we call this prostitution.

In Iran it is hallowed by the name of sigheh and it has the full sanction of the law. One can only imagine the plight of poor women in Iran who are driven by necessity to become de facto prostitutes. I'm sure there are some at the ACLU and on the left who would say the women are noble "sex workers" whose only deprivation is that they are not paid the minimum wage. They are, after all, consenting adults. But anyone who believes in female dignity and family values has to consider sigheh a complete scandal.

I'm curious how a fellow like Ahmadinejad, who likes to portray himself as a defender of human dignity and of the Muslim family, would respond to what his mullah friends are doing on a regular basis. These abuses of power--financial, political, sexual--are more likely to discredit and ultimately bring down the regime of the mullahs than all the "tough questions" about nuclear weapons and the Holocaust.

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Catholic Church Lost Six Nuns To The Army Of Mary

Following their refusal to give up membership in a canadian sect known as Army of Mary, whose founder claims to be possessed by the Virgin Mary, six Catholic nuns have been excommunicated for heresy from the Diocese of Little Rock. The Rev. J. Gaston Hebert, the diocese administrator, said he notified the nuns of the decision after they refused to recant the teachings of the Community of the Lady of All Nations, also known as the Army of Mary.

The Vatican has declared all members of the Army of Mary excommunicated. Sister Mary Theresa Dionne, 82, one of the nuns excommunicated, said they will still live in their Hot Springs convent. Hebert said church officials removed the Eucharist -- which Catholics revere as the body of Christ -- from the monastery. Sect members believe that its 86-year-old founder, Marie Paule Giguere, is the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary and that God speaks directly through her. Excommunication bars the nuns from participating in the church liturgy and receiving communion or other sacraments.

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Kiefer Sutherland Charged For DUI

Gina Serpe

The 24 star celebrity, Kiefer Sutherland, was arrested for misdemeanor driving under the influence in the early-morning hours Tuesday, after failing a field sobriety test, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

Sutherland was stopped at the corner of La Cienega and Beverly at 1:35 a.m., after officers spotted the Emmy winner making an illegal U-turn. After making the stop, the officers issued the actor a field sobriety test, which he failed.

According to police, the Breathalyzer revealed the 40-year-old's blood-alcohol level to be more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, TMZ reported.

Earlier in the night, the actor, along with fellow network talent, was spotted at the Fox Fall Eco-Casino party, held at the nearby Area nightclub.

LAPD officers arrested the actor at the scene and transported him to the Hollywood police station, where he was formally booked on the misdemeanor charges at 4:09 a.m.

He was released at 5:42 a.m. after posting $25,000 bail, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Deparment Website. TMZ reported that authorities deemed Sutherland "cooperative and mellow" during the encounter.

The arrest marks Sutherland's second DUI in the past five years. He was also busted in September 2004 and pleaded no contest. He was sentenced to 60 months' probation and 50 hours of community service. As he is now a repeat offender, if he's convicted on his current charge, he must serve a mandatory minimum of five days in jail.

The actor is due in court on Oct. 16.

Meanwhile, despite its inauspicious beginning, the day won't be a complete washout for Sutherland.

The Canadian-reared thesp is set to receive the Excellence Award from the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists in an afternoon reception scheduled to take place at the Los Angeles home of the Consul General of Canada, Alain Dudoit. The prestigious honor is doled out only every two years to an ACTRA member working in L.A.

24 returns to the Fox schedule in January.

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Serial Womaniser Shane Warne At It Again

Georgina Robinson

Serial womaniser Shane Warne has again been caught cheating on his former wife Simone Callahan, just six months after she moved to England to salvage their marriage for the sake of their three children.

In an interview with tabloid magazine New Idea, Simone reveals she discovered his infidelity in a wayward text message intended for another woman.

"It broke my heart all over again so it's over forever now, the leopard doesn't change his spots," she told journalist Sue Smethurst.

Now back in Australia with the couple's children, Simone said she had been suspicious for some time but had refused to listen to her gut feeling.

"Then I got the text by mistake and that was it - I knew my gut feeling was right."

The 38-year-old international cricketer was supposed to be in the United Kingdom playing poker with his mates and sent the following text to Simone by accident:

"Hey beautiful, I'm just talking to my kids, the back door's open."

Simone told New Idea she fired back: "You loser, you sent the message to the wrong person".

The two have not spoken since and Simone says it was the final, devastating act in their 10-year marriage.

"I'm angry that I was fooled again. Shane's not the person he says he is. He hasn't behaved like my friend at all. I can't believe he's cheated on me again."

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Child Prostitution, Fueling The Abuse Of Russian Children

Cesar Chelala

One of the regrettable consequences of the uneven economic expansion that Russia has experienced in recent times has been the increase in child abuse, particularly child prostitution.

This has been fueled by the significant influx of foreigners coming to Russia for business transactions. Besides the moral and ethical implications, the impact that sexual exploitation has on children's health and future development demands urgent attention. It is a problem that shows no signs of abating.

Sexual abuse of children can take several forms - from their use in pornographic materials for sale, to their use in other countries and Russia itself as prostitutes. Lured by fake promises in fashion magazines, some schoolgirls rate prostitution high on the list of modern "professions" to pursue. They believe that prostitution and contact with rich businessmen will provide them with the kind of lifestyle that they could never expect otherwise.

According to the Russian National Consultation on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, Russia is now one of the main producers of pornography in the world, and registers a significant number of incidents related to child prostitution or child trafficking for sexual purposes.

Although the real number is difficult to assess, experts believe that tens of thousands of children are involved in the production of pornographic materials in Russia today. These materials are frequently produced by small criminal groups, each fulfilling a specific task to keep the costs of production low compared to those of a regular startup business. The production and consumption of these materials are particularly pronounced in big cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg.

According to experts, almost a quarter of the pornography on global Internet sites contains child pornography. Among these, almost 50 percent include child pornography from Russia. Nowadays, it is possible to buy videocassettes of child pornography at any railway station or in several stores in these cities.

St. Petersburg and the northwest region of Russia report a high incidence of sex tourism, which is widely advertised on the Internet and aimed at people from neighboring Scandinavian countries. Prostitution is the most common form of child exploitation in the region.

Frequent recruiting targets are street children or children from dysfunctional families. Once they're entrapped, they may end up in brothels and red-light districts as they get older. Recruiters prey on these children's situations, deceiving them into a life of dependency.

In Russia, many young prostitutes are from the provinces or from the former Soviet republics. They come to Moscow or to St. Petersburg hoping to hide in the anonymity of the population. Occasionally pregnant or with children, and with scant education or skills, they see prostitution as an essential tool for survival.

Children engaged in prostitution frequently belong to families in extreme poverty, and characterized by alcohol and drug addiction or a hostile family atmosphere. In other cases, they are orphans who have made the street their home.

Many adults sexually abuse children in the belief that children are protected against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. However, children are less prone to practice safe sex, either because they don't think they need to or because they are unable to oppose the will of adults with whom they deal.
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Because of the transnational character of transactions involving children, it is imperative to strengthen international collaboration to counter child sexual abuse. At the same time, although Russia has signed and ratified important international conventions, such as the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, it has not yet developed a national plan of action against "commercial sexual exploitation of children."

The Angel Coalition, the only Russian nongovernmental organization working solely to combat human trafficking, has produced a program called "Inhuman Traffic" with the collaboration of actress Angelina Jolie. The documentary gives a compelling view of the tragedy of the trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation in Europe and offers insight into how the chain of trafficking can be broken. It should be required viewing for government officials charged with controlling this scourge.

Cesar Chelala, M.D., is an international public health consultant and a co-winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award for an article on human rights. He is the author of "AIDS: A Modern Epidemic."

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Rwandan Police Clamp Down On Doom's Day Cult

Ugandan police have arrested 12 leaders of a cult that believed floods swamping large parts of the north and east of the country herald the end of the world, according to media reports.

Apocalyptic sects were a particularly sensitive subject for the east African nation, where another group killed nearly 800 followers in massacres and a mass suicide after its prediction the world would end at the start of 2000 failed to come true.

It has been among the hardest hit of 17 African countries ravaged by floods in recent weeks.

Some 300,000 Ugandans, many already uprooted by conflict, have been affected.

"We sent our investigation team who found cult members praying and claiming they are prophets sent by God with 18 commandments to preach the end of the world," a police commander in Gulu town, Johnson Kilama, told the Sunday Vision newspaper.

Police said the 12 cult leaders would be charged with unlawful assembly and being idle and disorderly.

The leader of the group, which called itself the New Jerusalem Church, was 37-year-old Francis Opwonya.

"The creator told me five things will happen as a sign of the end of the world before the last judgment," he was quoted as saying by the Vision after his arrest.

The first was the country's HIV/AIDS epidemic, then famine, then earthquakes, Opwonya said. Floods and hailstones came last.

The group sprinkled water on followers and smeared others with butter extracted from the shea tree.

Officers removed several items used as idols, including a bamboo pole that Opwonya said symbolised the key God would use to lock the main gate of Jerusalem on judgment day.

Gulu was the epicentre of a two-decade civil war between government troops and notorious Lord's Resistance Army rebels who claimed divine inspiration for their massacres and the abduction of thousands of children as soldiers and sex slaves.

But for most Ugandans, word of doomsday cults brings bitter memories of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments, which burnt hundreds of members alive in a church in Kanungu, near the Congolese border, in March 2000.

Police believe leaders systematically killed hundreds more followers after their judgment day forecast failed to happen, and corpses were found in mass graves across the country.

Arrest warrants were issued for six cult leaders, but police admit they still do not know if they died in the Kanungu blaze.

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Brad Pitt's Fatherhood Role A Remedy For Depression

Fatherhood has become a tonic for Brad Pitt as he fights a secret genetic depression.

The movie hunk plays moody outlaw Jesse James in his latest film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and he admits he didn’t have to dig too deep to play the sad Wild West anti-hero.

He claims his family is surrounded by a great sadness, explaining, “They call it a congenital sadness. It’s nothing that’s on the surface. It’s something that I feel in my grandparents, in the people I've met, in a Southern way of life."

And, playing James, who like Pitt also hails from the plains from Missouri, reminded the actor of the melancholy that has dogged him his entire life. He adds, “I was surprised how much that meant to me in the end, to do something that had a connection with home.

But becoming a father has given Pitt a new-found happiness.

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Aaron Eckhart Talks About The Movie 'No Reservations'

He’s Hollywood’s unstarry, unconventional, thinking actor, who flashed to fame with movies like Thank You For Smoking and In the Company of Men.

Having shared screen-space with the likes of Julia Roberts, Hillary Swank and Gwyneth Paltrow, actor Aaron Eckhart has now been paired opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones in No Reservations , in which he plays a chef who ‘spices’ up his lady love’s life.

From serious, art-house cinema to a romantic comedy like No Reservations. That’s quite a change?

I felt that it was time to do something light-hearted, to play a more free-spirited role. When I read this script I simply loved it. After all, I get to play a chef, to be in love with Catherine, and work with a director like Scott Hicks.

I thought it was the perfect thing for me to do. I come in, crack jokes, kiss the girls, play with the kid and go home. I do like comedy much more than drama right now.

I’m falling in love with making people laugh. It’s easier to work that way. I think as an actor you should be able to ride a horse, shoot a gun and sing opera.

And have you worked on your culinary skills or do you keep a fire extinguisher at hand while cooking at home?

Well, I’m almost close to perfect. I’m definitely spending more time in kitchen now. And I’m pretty good at chopping and tossing too.

So did you and Catherine cook up something together?

Yes, we had a few interesting fires going, but it was very well supervised. We didn’t play with the knives too much though.

What do you like best about your character?

I think in my character there’s a lot of cocky arrogance and competition. I’m breaking-in Catherine like a horse really.

Sorry, Catherine (smiles). It’s like seeing something you can’t have. I think women appreciate a man who will not really put her in her place, but not put up with bad behaviour either. Women like honest men, and that’s just what I am in the movie.

What was more distracting — the irresistible aroma of food or the stunning Catherine?

Definitely Catherine!

What’s tougher — comedy or cooking?

The toughest part was singing opera. I didn’t have knowledge of opera, it was fun to learn and say the words, though I don’t speak Italian. I haven’t done it before, nor will I ever do it again. I was tricked into it (laughs).

Would you cook for a woman to impress her?

Food is an offering, and to feed someone else is a gift. Like they say it’s a way into people’s hearts. The thought of cooking for my girlfriend is amazing. I would love to be able to cook a Thanksgiving dinner.

Have you watched any Indian films?

Yes, the restaurant where I eat Indian food in LA shows Indian films and we watch them all the time.

Some of our Indian actors are doing Hollywood films and vice-versa. Are you keen to be part of an Indian film?

I was talking about doing this Indian movie with an all Indian star cast. I can’t remember the filmmaker’s name; I don’t think he’s too famous. Maybe he was, I’m not quite sure. Now you’re putting me in a spot... okay, they were English. Well, see you ruined it all!

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Daniel Craig Hits The Gym For The Next Bond Film.

The hunky actor is desperate to bulk and tone up before he starts filming the next 007 adventure, tentatively titled Bond 22.

But Daniel — who is also having skiing lessons in preparation for the latest high-octane thriller — is less than keen on his new regime.

A source says, “He’s been hammering it in the gym. He is starting to get even more toned than before. But he’s told us he’s not a fitness freak, so it’s really tough getting to the gym.”

Daniel, 39, who wooed women all over the world when he emerged from the sea wearing a tight pair of blue trunks in Casino Royale, has said the only thing that gets him through the tough workouts is a pint of beer afterwards.

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Emmy's Best Actors And Actresses

Best actor in a dramatic series went to James Spader for his role as a lawyer in ‘Boston Legal’.

Two-time Academy winning actress Sally Field won the award for best actress in a dramatic series for her role in ‘Brothers and Sisters’ at the 59th annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

Best actor in a dramatic series went to James Spader for his role as a lawyer in ‘Boston Legal’.

Field’s comments had to bleeped since she started talking about the war in Iraq.

She later told reporters that she wanted to say something about mums whose son’s aren’t coming home.

"I said goddamn, wanted to say something about the mothers whose sons aren't coming home. I can't imagine. I can't imagine,’ People magazine quoted her, as saying.

‘Ugly Betty’ star America Ferrera was adjudged the best actress in a comedy for her role in the smash hit series.

Ricky Gervais was named best actor in a comedy series, for Extras.

Jeremy Piven, won his second consecutive Emmy as supporting actor in a comedy series for ‘Entourage’.

"I want to thank the entire crew. I don't know any of their names," he joked.

Jaime Pressly bagged her second consecutive Emmy, for supporting actress in a comedy series for My Name Is Earl.

The Sopranos and 30 Rock won the awards for best dramatic and comedy series, respectively.

The list of the 59th annual Primetime Emmy Awards winners is as follows:

1) Best actress in a dramatic series- Sally Field
2) Best actor in a dramatic series- James Spader
3) Best actress in a comedy- America Ferrera
4) Best actor in a comedy- Ricky Gervais
5) Best dramatic series - The Sopranos
6) Best comedy series- 30 Rock

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Rap Star Snoop Dogg Escapes Prison Sentence

Snoop Dogg pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of felony possession of a dangerous weapon, his lawyer said.

In a plea deal, the 35-year-old rapper was sentenced to 160 hours of community service and three years probation. He was also ordered to make a $US10,000 ($A11,620) charitable donation, attorney Donald Etra said.

"We are very pleased with the outcome," Etra said. "Snoop's goal is to make music, not make court appearances."

Snoop Dogg, born Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr, was arrested September 27, 2006, after the discovery of a collapsible baton in his computer bag at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

Authorities said the baton was a dangerous weapon. Snoop Dogg said it was a prop for a video he was filming in New York.

Etra said the felony conviction would be reduced to a misdemeanour after one year if Snoop Dogg does not violate the law.

"He wants to get on with his life," Etra said. "He will continue his music and his filming and performing."

The case is Snoop Dogg's second in the past year. He was arrested at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank October 26 on suspicion of transporting marijuana. Police later found a gun at his home.

The rapper pleaded no contest on April 11 to felony gun and marijuana charges and agreed to five years' probation and 800 hours of community service.

The cases marked the end of a relatively long trouble-free stretch for Snoop Dogg. He had burnished his image in recent years with appearances in mainstream movies and by starting a youth football league.

Snoop Dogg was convicted in 1990 of cocaine possession and charged with gun possession after a 1993 traffic stop. In 1997, he pleaded guilty in exchange for three years' probation and a promise to make public service announcements against violence.

He was acquitted of a murder charge in 1996 after the death of an alleged street-gang member killed by gunfire from the vehicle in which Snoop Dogg was travelling.

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Muslim Organisation Issue Fatwa Against Salman Khan

A Muslim organisation has issued a fatwa against Salman Khan for attending a Ganesh puja.
On Tuesday night, the actor was present at the aarti performed by singer Sonu Nigam at the Lalbaugcha Raja mandal, Mumbai's most iconic sarvajanik Ganesh mandal. His visit was widely publicised on television.

Stating that Islam prohibits idol worship, the Bareilly-based Daarul-Ifta-Manjar-e-Islam has said that unless Salman reads the kalmas all over again, he will not be considered Muslim.

The kalmas are the Islamic credo, constituting a declaration of belief that God is one and Mohammed is his prophet.

Salman, who is out on bail in the Chinkara poaching case, also celebrated Ganesh mahostav with his family in Bandra.

The Khan family brought home a Ganesh idol for one-and-a-half days. Matching steps with step-mom Helen, and with his nephew hoisted over his shoulders, the actor was among the group who danced in the procession en route to immersing the idol.

Salam's father Salim Khan reacted strongly to the news of the fatwa : "If these are Muslims then I don't want to be called a Muslim. I want to know how these people are qualified to issue a fatwa against my son. I don't think people who have issued a fatwa against Salman have anything to do with Islam; they don't even know their religion well. Don't they know that the Koran says ' sab ka khuda ek '?

"My family is a cosmopolitan family with members from practically every religion living under one roof. What has my son done? He has gone for an aarti which is not wrong at all. Such issues don't even come up for discussion in our house. All I can say is that a fanatic Hindu and a fanatic Muslim only thrive and live on hatred and it is their hatred towards us that they express through such fatwa s.''

Zeenat Shaukat Ali, who teaches Islamic studies at St Xavier's College in Mumbai, dismissed the controversy as a "non-issue''. "What Salman did was his personal choice,'' she said.

"The Koran clearly says two things: you to your religion and me to mine; and secondly, there is no compulsion in religion. Therefore, the fatwa is the Bareilly maulvi's personal opinion and Muslims are not bound to follow it.''

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The Happiest Youths In The World Are Indians

When it comes to being satisfied with oneself, Indian youths are the world's happiest lot with career being their top priority.

Young middle-class Indians are the happiest people of all and much more satisfied with all aspects of their lives compared to other nationalities, according to a new global survey by Swedish research and consulting firm Kairos Future.

Further, work comes as top priority for Indian youth, followed by a good career and higher-status. In contrast, for those in Europe, a good living environment comes on top and above all work-related aspects, Kairos Future said.

The priorities of Indian youth -- work, good career and a position with high status, are reflected in their values such as endurance and entrepreneurship.

"Indian youth are also strikingly more optimistic about their own future and also about the future of society. The general picture in other countries is that young people tend to be personal optimists but societal pessimists," according to Kairos Future Group CEO and founder Mats Lindgren.

However, the study found that even though family is a strong focal point in an Indian society, youths here showed little interest in having a family and children of their own.

When asked about what constitutes a good life, many responded that there are many other important aspects than having a family and children, the survey said.

"Indians are focused on their careers and are much more status-oriented than youth in Europe," says the latest survey carried out by Sweden-based Kairos Future, a futures research and consulting firm.

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The Myth And The Maths Behind Male Promiscuity

Everyone knows men are promiscuous by nature. It's part of the genetic strategy that evolved to help men spread their genes far and wide. The strategy is different for a woman, who has to go through so much just to have a baby and then nurture it. She is genetically programmed to want just one man who will stick with her and help raise their children.

Surveys bear this out. In study after study and in country after country, men report more, often many more, sexual partners than women.

One survey, recently reported by the federal government, concluded that men had a median of seven female sex partners. Women had a median of four male sex partners. Another study, by British researchers, stated that men had 12.7 heterosexual partners in their lifetimes and women had 6.5.

But there is just one problem, mathematicians say. It is logically impossible for heterosexual men to have more partners on average than heterosexual women. Those survey results cannot be correct.

It is about time for mathematicians to set the record straight, said David Gale, an emeritus professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley.

"Surveys and studies to the contrary notwithstanding, the conclusion that men have substantially more sex partners than women is not and cannot be true for purely logical reasons," Dr. Gale said.

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He even provided a proof, writing in an e-mail message:

"By way of dramatization, we change the context slightly and will prove what will be called the High School Prom Theorem. We suppose that on the day after the prom, each girl is asked to give the number of boys she danced with. These numbers are then added up giving a number G. The same information is then obtained from the boys, giving a number B.

Theorem: G=B

Proof: Both G and B are equal to C, the number of couples who danced together at the prom. Q.E.D."

Sex survey researchers say they know that Dr. Gale is correct. Men and women in a population must have roughly equal numbers of partners. So, when men report many more than women, what is going on and what is to be believed?

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"I have heard this question before," said Cheryl D. Fryar, a health statistician at the National Center for Health Statistics and a lead author of the new federal report, "Drug Use and Sexual Behaviors Reported by Adults: United States, 1999-2002," which found that men had a median of seven partners and women four.

But when it comes to an explanation, she added, "I have no idea."

"This is what is reported," Ms. Fryar said. "The reason why they report it I do not know."

Sevgi O. Aral, who is associate director for science in the division of sexually transmitted disease prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there are several possible explanations and all are probably operating.

One is that men are going outside the population to find partners, to prostitutes, for example, who are not part of the survey, or are having sex when they travel to other countries.

Another, of course, is that men exaggerate the number of partners they have and women underestimate.

Dr. Aral said she cannot determine what the true number of sex partners is for men and women, but, she added, "I would say that men have more partners on average but the difference is not as big as it seems in the numbers we are looking at."

Dr. Gale is still troubled. He said invoking women who are outside the survey population cannot begin to explain a difference of 75 percent in the number of partners, as occurred in the study saying men had seven partners and women four. Something like a prostitute effect, he said, "would be negligible." The most likely explanation, by far, is that the numbers cannot be trusted.

Ronald Graham, a professor of mathematics and computer science at the University of California, San Diego, agreed with Dr. Gale. After all, on average, men would have to have three more partners than women, raising the question of where all those extra partners might be.

"Some might be imaginary," Dr. Graham said. "Maybe two are in the man's mind and one really exists."

Dr. Gale added that he is not just being querulous when he raises the question of logical impossibility. The problem, he said, is that when such data are published, with no asterisk next to them saying they can't be true, they just "reinforce the stereotypes of promiscuous males and chaste females."

In fact, he added, the survey data themselves may be part of the problem. If asked, a man, believing that he should have a lot of partners, may feel compelled to exaggerate, and a woman, believing that she should have few partners, may minimize her past.

"In this way," Dr. Gale said, "the false conclusions people draw from these surveys may have a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy."

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Kevin Federline In love With His New Acting Career

The failed rapper is guest-starring in two episodes of the hit CW show, and is thrilled with every moment he gets to spend in front of the camera.

Britney Spears’ ex hubby Kevin Federline is loving acting now that he’s got a chance to show off his skills in TV show ‘One Tree Hill’.

The failed rapper is guest-starring in two episodes of the hit CW show, and is thrilled with every moment he gets to spend in front of the camera.

"I'm really into the acting thing. I'm loving it!" People quoted Federline, as telling Extra.

K-Fed is playing the part of a self-obsessed wannabe rock star and will be seen sporting a Mohawk when the episodes air.

"I kind of play this self-obsessed wannabe rock star. You know, a guy that really takes himself too seriously," he said.

Ferderline also admitted that he was ‘more focused’ on his acting career than cutting another album.

"[I'm] definitely more focused on the acting thing," he said.

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Jamie Durie's Physique, Product of Gardening

Tanned and muscle-bound, stripper-turned celebrity gardener Jamie Durie attributes his physique to regularly swinging a garden hoe.

As a former member of the male striptease act Manpower, Durie isn't shy about ripping off his shirt.

"A good day working in my garden gives me a much better workout and a lot more satisfaction (than stripping)," he says, displaying a formidable six-pack.

Durie is the ultimate outdoor guy. In his younger days, the 37-year-old was into gymnastics, acrobatics and trapeze; a path that eventually led him to Manpower.

His Manpower days are behind him now and these days he cites running, kayaking and surfing as his regular activities.

And now he's added outdoor furniture designer to his resume.

The launch this month of his extensive new range of garden furniture is a logical next step for the bloke who made gardening sexy.

His down-to-earth, gregarious personality has helped keep shows like the Nine Network's Backyard Blitz, The Block and Renovation Rescue, as well as Seven's Australia's Best Backyards, at the top of the ratings list.

"It's still showbiz, but these days I do it with plants," he says.

"In my mind, it's a much more sustainable relationship and it's a much better place to work in."

And he adds, it's helping reduce his carbon footprint.

"For every single plant I've put in the ground, that tree takes up one tonne of carbon emissions," he says.

As a qualified horticulturist and landscape gardener, Durie has made Aussies rethink their relationship with their gardens.

The Backyard Blitz team was a simple concept: Take an average backyard and in a 24-hour timeframe, give it a makeover and the odd water feature.

The owners are then led, blindfolded, into their new sexed-up backyard, where they inevitably burst into tears of joy.

"We've done close to 260 garden over the last 7-8 years," he says.

What really drives Durie mad is seeing a home with a bland garden.

"It frustrates me when I see simple changes that could be made to a garden, that I know would enhance someone's life and their weekends so much more," he says.

He lives by his word, and when he's at his northern beaches home you'll usually find him outside, no matter what the season.

In winter he uses outdoor heaters and open fires, while tall plants protect against the wind.

Durie's strong belief in the outdoor ethos is behind his new range of gardening and outdoor living products, marketed under the brand Patio by Jamie Durie.

"Everything you do inside the house, can be converted to the outdoor," he says.

"You can dine outside, lounge outside, sleep outside - every single room in the house can be taken outside."

He says people need to treat their own backyards as an extension of their living space - make it the quintessential Australian outdoor room.

"Gardens provide well-being, there is nothing like being surrounded by plants.

"I feel good when I'm in a garden, children study better, adults relax better, the sick feel better - gardens bring you all of these things."

Durie has had his green thumb since he was young.

"I've always loved gardens because my mum was a very keen gardener, so it's a very natural thing for me to be in a garden.

"But I really learnt to understand it well after studying horticulture.

"It's hard to switch off. When I sit in someone's garden, I'm thinking 'these people really need to plant a row of Photinias'."

Originally from the Sydney's beachside suburb of Manly, Durie learnt about desert plants when his family moved to Tom Price in north Western Australia.

He says his own garden is a work in progress.

"It's mainly full of cacti and succulents, and it is drought-tolerant so I can leave it and it won't die."

Which is just as well, because he's spending less time at home.

Just like a good ground cover, Durie's fame is spreading overseas.

He's already scored a regular spot on The Oprah Winfrey Show and this month took over as the host of America's oldest and longest running gardening show, The Victory Garden.

He says he's keen to introduce the Americans to some of his favourite Aussie flora.

"On my first segment with Oprah, I took Kangaroo Paw to California," he says.

With his company, Patio, Durie is designing gardens in about 11 different countries, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia.

He's excited about all his overseas projects and says that "after swinging a pick for eight years, it's a dream to put it down for a while."

But it won't be forever.

"I'll get my hands back in the cow manure in the future," he says.

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"It's Getting Ugly Out There: The Frauds, Bunglers, Liars, and Losers Who Are Hurting America"


I was dead wrong about the ISG’s elite bipartisan brain trust. Talk about an inconvenient truth: the blistering critical “Baker-Hamilton Report” released on December 6 2006, as the nation was marking the sixtieth anniversary of Pearl Harbor, described Iraq as a grave and a deteriorating” crisis. The report presented seventy-nine recommendations that read more like an indictment of Oval Office of pentagon hubris, incompetence, stupidity and delusion. It was.

That day, I did a “Cafferty File” piece on a very different kind of day of infamy. “The president looked old and tired.” I said on the air, “the kind of old and tire you look after carrying a heavy load for a long time. The war in Iraq is an unmitigated disaster and everybody knows it. The republicans know it, the Democrats know it, our country knows it, and the rest of the world knows it. And for the first time his morning, it looks like President Bush knows it too.”

Or did he? Bush should have been down on his knees kissing Baker’s ring for giving him seventy-nine clues on how to extricate us from the butchery of Baghdad and the costliest war on the cheap ever waged. Instead, Bush retreated into his bubble of smugness and unreality. Ha cavalierly shrugged off two key Baker-Hamilton points – troop reductions and talk Syria and especially Iran – while he cast about for yet more guideline from more experts for still more photo ops. He said he wouldn’t be pinned down by benchmarks, deadlines, and troop drawdowns, but “we will complete the mission.”

Days later, Bush was asking for another $99 billion for Iraq and mulling a “surge” of up to forty thousand more troops. He was insisting not on solution but on sanctions against Iran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment programs. He seemed more focused on finding a way into Iran than a way out of Iraq – a war he finally conceded that we were neither winning nor losing, just fighting. As Maureen Dowd wrote in her New York Times columns: “Poppy Bush and James Baker gave Sonny the presidency to play with and he broke it. So now they’re taking it back.”

Instead of expressing deep gratitude for the ISG’s wise consensus-driven blueprint to get us hell out of there, our commander in chief was wandering around his own twilight zone hawking a New Way Forward. Like the campaigns before it, this ad campaign only confirmed that he, Cheney, and Rummy had absolutely no grasp of much of anything when it came to this war.

If Bush had been praying for a magic potion, Baker & Co. hadn’t brewed it. Maybe Casper the Friendly Ghost would whisper the presidential daily briefing into Bush’s car at 3 A.M. and tell him what he should do next…………………Excerpts from CNN’s Jack Cafferty’s “It’s Getting Ugly Out There: The Frauds, Bunglers, Liars, and Losers Who Are Hurting America

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Retired Porn Star Ai Iijima Cant Live Without Sex

Even months into retirement, porn star-cum-celebrity advisor and IT explorer Ai Iijima can't stay out of the news, with Shukan Asahi reporting that now she's moaning about her insatiable urge to break a sex drought.

Citing a serious liver illness, 34-year-old Iijima quit the showbiz world at the end of March, but has since maintained a high-profile blog that has managed to keep people talking about her.
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Earlier this month, she used her blog to let it be known that she's becoming sexually frustrated.

"I was thinking the other day that ever since my life started, it has lacked sensuality," Shukan Asahi quotes Iijima posting on her blog. "I haven't got a boyfriend. I haven't even got a sex friend. Oh my god, I'm dying for a bit. I've just got to have some nooky."
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The comments were typically Iijima in that they easily shocked. Her request for advice from visitors to her blog elicited over 300 replies, many from men predictably willing to meet her and alleviate her plight.

Despite Iijima lamenting a lack of lustiness, recent reports suggest that may not necessarily be the case. In July, women's weekly Josei Jishin caught Iijima meeting with a guy at a posh hotel.

A couple of weeks after that, Shukan Asahi itself reported that Iijima had developed a very close relationship with Hiroyuki Nishimura, 30, the maverick operator of anything-goes online bulletin board Ni-Chaneru. Iijima works part-time for an IT company in which Nishimura is a director, and she has made no bones about how much she likes his bones. After posting on her blog footage of the interview she undertook with him to get the IT job, Iijima also remarked about her feelings for the board operator.

"I quite fancy this Hiroyuki," the weekly quotes Iijima writing.

Despite the attraction, some pals say it's unlikely Iijima and Nishimura have consummated their relationship.

"Ai is pretty free and easy and it's common for her to whine to her friends about a lack of decent sex. She also complains about the fact that as soon as she leaves her home, the paparazzi are there to swoop on her so she basically has to remain cooped up in her apartment all the time," an Iijima buddy tells Shukan Asahi. "I guess if she's holed up inside all the time, she would be getting a bit bored.

Shukan Asahi (9/7)Iijima won't be offering any insight into her relationship with Nishimura, refusing to divulge any details even for Shukan Asahi, for which she was once a columnist. She wouldn't open up when the weekly approached her for a comment.

"Considering everything your magazine has done for me, I'd really love to help, but in this case, I'm really, really sorry, I just can't cooperate with the story," Iijima tells Shukan Asahi. "I'm really, really sorry."
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Opting For Alternatives To Body Tattoos

Tattooing is by no means a modern practice. Tattoo-bearing Egyptian and Libyan mummies have been found that date back hundreds of years before the time of Christ. Tattooed mummies have also been found in South America. Many of the tattooed images were directly related to the worship of pagan gods. According to researcher Steve Gilbert, “the earliest known tattoo that is a picture of something, rather than an abstract pattern, represents the god Bes. In Egyptian mythology Bes is the lascivious god of revelry.”

Yet over time, the practice has become so popular that crude tattoo practices have been replace by innovative devices like the electric tattoo machines. The first electronic tattoo machine was invented by an American tattoo artist named Samuel O’Reilly in 1890, which gave birth to the new era of tattooing in which people started to have different kind of tattoos on various parts of their body. But tattoos were not respected in its earlier days and were considered as a kind of non sense thing suitable only for drunkards or sailors and sometimes, criminals too.

The popularity of tattoo gained its current weight age after many years of its existence and now, one can find tattoo as a fashion symbol rather than a simple mark. Tattoo indeed have spread across oceans and people even in the undeveloped countries have been practicing the art of tattoo on their body parts. Once what seems as a non sense thing has truly become an integral part of new generation fashion.

But for moral reasons or religious believes like that given to the Israelites in the bible some would not want to have it on their flesh, but would prefer tattoo sleeves. Today, these tattoo sleeves have become increasingly popular due to their convenience and changeableness.

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