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Thursday, December 4, 2008

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Food crisis? Try rat meat,

Food crisis? Try rats, says Indian state government

Monday, Aug 18, 2008

PATNA, India (Reuters) - A state government in eastern Indian is encouraging people to eat rats in an effort to battle soaring food prices and save grain stocks.

Authorities in Bihar, one of India's poorest states, are asking rich and poor alike to switch to eating rats in a bid to reduce the dependence on rice. They even plan to offer rats on restaurant menus.

"Eating of rats will serve twin purposes -- it will save grains from being eaten away by rats and will simultaneously increase our grain stock," Vijay Prakash, an official from the state's welfare department, told Reuters.

Officials say almost 50 percent of India's food grains stocks are eaten away by rodents in fields or warehouses.

Jitan Ram Manjhi, Bihar's caste and tribe welfare minister, said rat meat was a healthy alternative to expensive rice or grains, and should be eaten by one and all.

"We are very serious to implement this project since the food crisis is turning serious day by day," Manjhi, who has eaten rats, told Reuters.

In Bihar, rat meat is already eaten by Mushars, a group of lower caste Hindus, as well as poorer sections of society.

(Writing by Melanie Lee; Editing by Paul Tait)

"boobs on bikes" parade

NZ court gives green light to "boobs on bikes" parade

Tuesday, Aug 19, 2008 2:47AM UTC

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A New Zealand court has allowed a parade of topless porn stars on motor bikes to proceed on the main street of the country's biggest city, local media said on Tuesday.

Auckland City Council had sought a court injunction to stop the "Boobs on Bikes" parade, scheduled for Wednesday, saying it breached a bylaw banning offensive public events.

But Judge Nicola Mathers said while opponents may find the parade offensive or tasteless, the fact that 80,000 people had gathered for a similar event last year meant a significant number of people did not agree with the critics, New Zealand Press Association said.

The parade on Queens St., featuring leather-clad local and international porn stars, is part of an "Erotica Expo" organised by self-styled "porn king" Steve Crow.

(Reporting by Kazunori Takada; Editing by David Fox)

China's Bao world's tallest again

New rules make China's Bao world's tallest again

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2008 6:19AM UTC

By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Guinness World Records has returned the title of world's tallest man to China's Bao Xishun after Ukrainian Leonid Stadnyk refused to be measured under new guidelines.

Bao, who stands at 7 feet, 8.95 inches (2.36 metres), held the title for a year before losing it in 2006 to Stadnyk, who is 8 feet 5.5 inches (2.57 metres) tall, Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records, told Reuters.

While Bao has been measured by Guinness, which required him to be measured six times in one day -- both standing and lying down -- Stadnyk has refused. His title was awarded based on a statement from his doctor.

"We realized there was such interest and excitement in these categories to do with height that it was too important a category for us to leave it to a doctor alone," Glenday said. "So we decided to tighten things up completely to make sure there was no doubt."

Glenday said Guinness had been asking Stadnyk since about 2004 -- when the organization first heard of him -- if they could measure him, offering to fly officials to the Ukraine or fly him to Britain.

"He has gone on record saying he doesn't want to be bothered. Basically he doesn't want the fame and publicity that comes with being the world's tallest man," he said. "Whether or not that's the real reason ... I'm not sure, but that's what he's told us."

Stadnyk, who lives with his mother in a tiny village in central Ukraine, told Reuters last year he doesn't "need glory. I just want a normal life under normal conditions."


Stadnyk said he sees his height more as a burden than a blessing, saying "the world is built for medium-sized people." He and his mother were living off a pension of about $100 (54 pounds) a month and whatever else they earn from growing tomatoes and cucumbers and raising chickens, cows and pigs.

Bao, however, loves the publicity that came with his title and "was a bit gutted" when he found out he had lost it to Stadnyk, Glenday said. The Inner Mongolian livestock herder has not yet learned he is again officially the world's tallest.

Bao is recrowned in the Guinness World Records 2009 edition, which will be released on September 17.

"He was a bit of a recluse. He looked after goats. Then the fame that he got from being a Guinness World Record holder meant that he found himself a wife, his life improved," said Glenday, adding that Bao and his 5 foot 6 inch (1.68 metre) wife are expecting a baby later this year.

Bao hires himself out for publicity stunts and his wedding last year was sponsored by at least 15 companies. In December 2006, Bao saved the lives of two dolphins by reaching deep into their stomachs with his 3.47-foot (1.06-metre) long arm to pull out pieces of plastic, according to Chinese media.

Bao reached his height in a seven-year spurt that began in his teens which doctors have yet to explain, according to Guinness, while Glenday said Stadnyk's growth is said to have been caused by a tumour on his pituitary gland that stimulated over-production of a growth hormone.

The tallest man on record was Robert Wadlow from Alton, Illinois, who measured 8 feet 11 inches (2.72 metres) and died in 1940, according to Guinness World Records.

Guinness has also crowned a new shortest man under the new rules -- He Ping Ping, who stands 2 feet 5.37 inches (74.61 centimetres) tall and lives just a few hundred miles from Bao in Inner Mongolia, Glenday said.

(Editing by Todd Eastham)

Japan 61-yr-oldmum gives birth

Japan 61-yr-old surrogate mum gives birth: clinic

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2008

TOKYO (Reuters) - A 61-year-old Japanese woman has given birth to a surrogate child, an obstetrician in central Japan said on Wednesday. She is believed to be the oldest surrogate mother yet recorded in Japan.

The woman became pregnant with an embryo created from the egg of her daughter, who has no uterus, and sperm from the daughter's husband, the maternity clinic involved said in a statement.

The clinic is run by Yahiro Netsu, who has defied longstanding opposition to surrogate births from Japanese obstetricians.

The clinic declined to confirm when the woman gave birth or to give her name, citing privacy concerns.

"The clinic hopes that Japan will hold forward-looking discussions on surrogate births and that it will take place in Japan without abuses," the clinic said.

Netsu helped eight surrogate mothers become pregnant and give birth between 1999 and 2008, said clinic spokeswoman Chihiro Netsu.

In four of the eight cases, mothers aged 55 to 61 gave birth for their daughters. The remaining four involved women giving birth for their brothers or sisters, she added.

Prior to this case, the oldest surrogate motherhood case known in Japan was a 60-year-old woman who became pregnant in the United States last year with an embryo created from donated egg and sperm.

(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; editing by Roger Crabb)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sex and the city forbidden, but let the Games begin

Monday, Aug 04, 2008 4:41AM UTC

By Paul Majendie and Ben Blanchard

LONDON (Reuters) - Whatever happened to the Mongolian prostitutes? Where have all the "money boys" gone?

Looking for a high-class hooker in the lobby of a five-star hotel? It could be a tough assignment.

Anyone hoping for some readily available sex-for-sale in Beijing during the Olympics may be in for a shock. China is clearly keen to portray a squeaky clean image at the Summer Games and picture postcard Beijing is a top priority.

Prostitution is illegal in China. Banished after the Communist revolution in 1949, it returned with a vengeance in the 1980s when the country embarked upon economic reforms and started opening to the outside world.

For prostitutes and pole dancers alike, pickings now are slim. They cannot wait for the Olympics to end.

Climbing down from her pole in a sparsely populated bar in Beijing's Sanlitun area, 22-year-old Yang Shuo sighed.

"Business is OK but it could be better," she said. "It's the Olympics, you know. Police are cracking down on places like this."

Looking out on a tacky bar filled with a handful of customers, she said: "I am looking forward to the Olympics finishing."

For the oldest profession in the world, drumming up clients at the Olympics is hard work.

"Business is terrible," confessed one prostitute as she strode up to a passing westerner in a downtown Beijing street offering "Sex, Sex, Sex".

"We have been thrown out of the hotels," said the woman in her mid-30s, wearing a low-strung orange top. "We have to do our business on the streets and cut our prices."


She normally charges 600 yuan (45 pounds) for three hours. The special Olympic price is now down to 500 yuan.

"I hate the Olympics. We can't wait for them to finish -- then business can return to normal."

The outlook was equally bleak at a bar once notorious as a haunt for picking up Mongolian prostitutes. The guard outside said: "It is closed for renovation. It will not be re-opening until September."

Trying to find out how business was for the money boys -- China's name for gay rent boys -- was not easy. None was prepared to talk unless you paid them first.

The Chinese government has told discos, karaoke bars and other entertainment venues to install windows in private rooms and ensure staff dress modestly in an effort to crack down on prostitution and drugs.

The Ministry of Public Security has decreed that entertainment venues must install transparent partitions between rooms that ensure "the whole environment of the consumer's entertainment area in the room can be seen".

Discos and karaoke bars in China frequently have private rooms for hire and are a favourite place for businessmen to entertain guests, sometimes with prostitutes.

Skimpy outfits were also officially discouraged. Staff members should "dress tastefully and not be too exposing".

(Writing by Paul Majendie; Editing by Nick Macfie)

(For more stories visit our multimedia website "Road to Beijing" at http://www.reuters.com/news/sports/2008olympics; and see our blog at http://blogs.reuters.com/china)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Railway changes orange strip to avoid Dutch soccer fans mix-up

Railway changes orange strip to avoid Dutch mix-up

Friday, Jun 20, 2008 11:31AM UTC

By Mark Ledsom

BASEL (Reuters) - Switzerland's national railway has told its workers to stop using their normal orange reflective vests after confused Dutch soccer fans started following them on to the tracks.

A railway spokesman said the changed strip had been prompted by an incident in the Swiss capital Berne when a group of Netherlands supporters followed a worker on to the lines after mistaking his uniform for their traditional orange dress.

"We have now given out yellow vests to all our staff who have to work on or cross the tracks in Basel, where the Dutch fans are now based," Oliver Tamas said on Friday.

"It has raised a few eyebrows but we think it's a necessary measure to ensure the safety of our guests."

Tamas said that 1,500 railway staff involved in fan coordination work had already been given yellow vests to help them stand out from the Dutch supporters.

Police in Berne also ditched their orange vests after Netherlands were drawn to play all three of their group stage matches in the city.

A Basel police spokesman said on Friday that the yellow vests used by Berne police had now been sent to Basel in time for Saturday's quarter-final between Netherlands and Russia.

(Editing by Jon Bramley)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ashanti's bloody videos spark protest

Thursday, Jun 12, 2008 By Mariel Concepcion

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Blood-splattered videos for R&B singer-songwriter Ashanti's single "The Way That I Love You" sparked a protest by demonstrators in Los Angeles, prompting the artist and Universal Records to remove the clips from the Internet.

Led by civil-rights organization Project Islamic Hope and its leader, Najee Ali, more than two dozen parents and religious leaders gathered outside the West Coast Universal/Motown offices on Tuesday to voice their displeasure with the videos.

One clip features a scorned lover, played by Ashanti, who gets revenge on her cheating boyfriend by stabbing him to death. Images include a murder scene with a bloody knife and the boyfriend's body in a tub.

A separate promotional video includes a fake news reports about a killing spree allegedly inspired by Ashanti's love crime, as well as bloody walls with the words "black children will die" smeared on them. Before the protest, the promo video was viewable on TheWayThatILoveYou.com, but the site has since been removed.

The site allowed visitors to send customized versions of the promotional video called "Gotchagrams," with options to input a friend's name, their "crime" and "weapon of choice."

"Following discussions with Ashanti, we have jointly decided to remove the TheWayThatILoveYou.com website that hosts the Gotchagram," reads a statement from Universal. "Ashanti and her music have always been about self-empowerment and addressing the issues that are most meaningful to her. We stand by our artist and her creative choices."

"The Way That I Love You" is the first single from her new album, "The Declaration," which debuts this week at No. 6 on the Billboard 200.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Indonesian Maid in HK court for sex with boss's teenage son

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 HONG KONG (Reuters) - A 45-year-old Indonesian maid
admitted having sex with her Hong Kong employer's 14-year-old
son after watching Internet porn together, a newspaper reported
on Tuesday.

A court heard how the maid, a divorcee and mother of two,
had sex with the boy in a relationship that lasted five months,
the South China Morning Post reported.

The boy tried to end the affair, but she refused, the paper
reported. The teenager eventually confessed to the relationship
to the leader of a Christian group he belonged to and the maid
was arrested.

The maid, Suwartin, had worked with the boy's extended
family for 11 years and pleaded guilty to five charges of
committing an indecent act with an under-age partner, the Post

She later apologised and said she "would live with the
shame of what she had done for the rest of her life", the paper

"She had acted out of loneliness," the paper quoted the
maid's lawyer as saying.

She will be sentenced in two weeks' time.

Maids from the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka are
often the subject of court cases in richer neighbours such as
Hong Kong and Singapore, but usually as victims of abuse rather
than offenders.

(Reporting by James Pomfret; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Hundreds strip naked in Vienna

from http://reuters.com

Hundreds strip naked in Vienna for artist Tunick

Sunday, May 11, 2008 By Paul Bolding

VIENNA (Reuters) - About 1,800 people stripped naked on Sunday for U.S. photographer Spencer Tunick at the stadium that will host the Euro 2008 soccer final.

Tunick, who regularly stages such mass nude events, arranged his subjects in the coloured seats of the venue, having been told by organizers the grass was too precious.

"It will be fun. Austria is very conservative. This might bring more openness," said Michael, a 20-year-old Austrian who drove for two hours to take part. Others came from Germany and elsewhere.

Tunick spoke to his models over the public address system, telling the men and women to spread out in sections of the stands and strike different poses. He told them not to smile or laugh and to remove sunglasses.

The stadium stages seven matches of the Euro 2008 soccer championship, being jointly hosted by Switzerland and Austria next month, including the final on June 29.

"This very special ephemeral installation that we are inviting you to be part of is devised to capture and combine the spirit of sports, the grand sweeping waves of stadium architecture and the abstract relation of the human form to modern structures," Tunick said on his website.

One of Tunick's latest stunts was on a Swiss glacier, where 600 people stripped off in temperatures of about 10 Celsius (50 F) last August.

His biggest was last year in Mexico City with 18,000 people. The next after Vienna are planned for Cork, Ireland, on June 17 and Dublin on June 21.

Sponsors of Tunick's latest event included a body promoting the soccer festival and Austrian railways, which gave participants free tickets.

Those taking part were volunteers who were offered a limited edition copy of the photo.

Tunick told a news conference in Vienna last week that rules in the United States made it hard to organize his photo shoots there. "My work is a little edgy. It is tough for me to get permission to do things in the U.S.," he said.

(Editing by Charles Dick)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Dalai Lama envoy upbeat on China talks

HONG KONG (Reuters) - An envoy of the Dalai Lama said on Tuesday that one-day talks with China on the unrest in Tibet had been "a good first step", and the two sides will meet again after he reports back to the exiled spiritual leader.

"We had very candid discussions ... we have a good rapport, so that is always very helpful," Lodi Gyari told Reuters at Hong Kong airport as he prepared to board a flight for India, home of the Tibet government-in-exile.

"We have agreed to meet once again so I think it is a good sign, but we will make a formal statement after I have reported to his Holiness when I get back to India."

Lodi Gyari and another envoy held a meeting with Chinese officials, the first since an eruption of Tibetan protests and deadly riots two months ago, in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Monday.

The unrest, the most serious challenge to Chinese rule in the mountainous region for nearly two decades, prompted anti-China protests around the world that disrupted the international leg of the Olympic torch relay and led to calls for Western leaders to boycott August's Beijing Games.

China proposed the latest talks last month after Western governments urged it to open new dialogue with the Dalai Lama, who says he wants a high level of autonomy, not independence, for the predominantly Buddhist Himalayan homeland he fled in 1959.

But state-run Xinhua news agency said on Sunday that the meeting was arranged at the government-in-exile's repeated request for contacts and consultations with Beijing.

Lodi Gyari, speaking to the media for the first time since the closed-door Shenzhen meeting, said a date for a further round of talks would only be announced after consultations with the Dalai Lama.

(Reporting by James Pomfret; Writing by Lucy Hornby; Editing by John Chalmers)

Marvel plans "Iron Man" sequel

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Buoyed by the blockbuster success of "Iron Man" over the weekend, Marvel Studios on Monday announced plans for a string of superhero properties, including an "Iron Man" sequel set for April 2010.

"Iron Man 2" will be followed in June 2010 by the big-screen adaptation of another of Marvel's popular comic book characters, "Thor," the mighty, hammer-wielding hero based on the Nordic god of the same name, the company said.

"Captain America" and "The Avengers" are next in line for the summer of 2011.

The nearly $99 million (50.1 million pound) opening weekend of "Iron Man," Marvel's first fully self-financed production, gave Hollywood's summer movie season a solid start and set the stage for a robust earnings report from the studio's corporate parent, Marvel Entertainment.

Drawing largely favourable reviews, "Iron Man" stars Robert Downey Jr. as billionaire industrialist and playboy Tony Stark, who wrestles with a mid-life crisis as he invents a high-tech suit of armour that transforms him into a superhero.

Kevin Feige, head of production for Marvel Studios, said Downey would return in the sequel as part of his three-picture deal for the franchise. Feige said the gifted actor deserved much of the credit for the film's broad appeal.

"It's great to see a sold-out audience that you know is made up of comic book fans and people who had never read an 'Iron Man' comic in their life," he said.

Marvel shares soared nearly 10 percent on Monday as the company reported first-quarter profits above market estimates and raised its 2008 financial outlook.

Costing about $150 million to make, "Iron Man" was distributed by Viacom's Paramount Pictures studio, which footed the $75 million marketing bill for the movie and received a flat fee for its efforts.

The same arrangement will apply for "Iron Man 2" and an upcoming film based on "Captain America," the iconic crime-fighter created in 1941.

That film, now titled "The First Avenger: Captain America," is slated for release in May 2011, to be followed by "The Avengers," based on a team of Marvel heroes that has included Iron Man, Thor and Captain America, in July of that year.


An adaptation of Marvel's "Ant-Man" character also is in development. But with the coveted summer movie release dates for 2009 already well booked by other studios, Marvel has no self-produced films scheduled to open next year.

Instead, the company said it would "focus its attention on maximizing the success of an 'Iron Man' sequel and the launch of 'Thor' in the summer of 2010."

The final Friday-through-Sunday tally for "Iron Man" came to $98.6 million, down slightly from the $100 million-plus studio estimate reported on Sunday.

That still easily exceeded the debut weekends of sequels to two other hit Marvel franchises -- "Spider-Man 2" and "X2: X-Men United" ($88.2 million and $85.6 million, respectively).

"Iron Man" also ranks as the second-biggest domestic debut ever for a non-sequel movie, a record set by the first "Spider-Man" with $114.8 million in May 2002. "Spider-Man 3" stands as the top movie opening of all time -- $151 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales its first weekend in May 2007.

"Iron Man" also proved its international mettle, grossing nearly $97 million from overseas openings in 57 foreign markets and claiming the No. 1 box office spot in most of those.

The very next Marvel film slated for release is "The Incredible Hulk," headed to theatres next month as a remake based on the oversized, green brute originally brought to the big screen in a 2003 commercial dud directed by Ang Lee.

Universal Pictures, an NBC Universal unit controlled by General Electric, will distribute the new film, as it did the first "Hulk." (Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Cynthia Osterman)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New York festival showcases films on Muslim world

from http://reuters.com

NY festival showcases films on Muslim world

Saturday, Apr 26, 2008 By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Seven years after New York's Tribeca neighbourhood was shaken by the attacks on the city's World Trade Centre, the area has become a bazaar for movies about and from the Muslim world.

The Tribeca Film Festival, started after the September 11 attacks in 2001 to try to rejuvenate lower Manhattan, has become the key destination in North America for films from Muslim countries or about the Islamic faith seeking distribution deals, says artistic director Peter Scarlet.

This year, 19 films related to Islam, making up 10 percent of the program, will be shown at the seventh annual festival.

Scarlet, who has been working with the festival since 2003, said he was shocked when in his second year he was asked by a journalist if Tribeca would continue to show films "from the people who brought us 9/11."

"Even in as wealthy and as big a country as the United States people know very little about the rest of the world," he said. "Films are the last chance we have to understand what we as human beings have in common.

"The real function of a film festival is to open our windows, open our eyes and open our minds," he said. "Films might be our only chance to understand people who may look different, whether they live on the other end of the world or maybe they moved in across the street or across the hall."

The films at this year's festival, which began on Wednesday, include "Football Under Cover," the story of a German women's soccer team that heads to Iran after hearing their counterparts there had never been allowed to play a game, and "Headwind," which shows efforts by Iranians to stymie government censorship of media and information.

Director Faramarz K-Rahber, from Australia, has documented the love story between an Australian puppeteer and a young Muslim woman from a highly traditional Pakistani family in the film "Donkey in Lahore."

"This is done from a love point of view," said the Iranian-born director. "This is not about terrorism, this is not about the extremists, it is purely about love and how a religion can bring them together."

Jane Rosenthal, who founded the festival with actor Robert De Niro and her husband Craig Hatkoff, said the stronger showings of films from Islamic countries could be because advances in technology had made filmmaking more accessible.

"We had one picture last year done by a soldier in Iraq that he made on his cell phone and the power of it when it was blown up was really quite unnerving," she said.

"As technology becomes more accessible, people are making movies and telling their stories and getting cameras into places that in a million years you wouldn't expect it."

(Editing by Mark Egan and John O'Callaghan)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Australian republic and Aborigines summit

This articles from reuters.com

Australian republic and Aborigines top mind summit

Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 By Rob Taylor and James Grubel

CANBERRA (Reuters) - A "Healing Fund" and constitutional recognition of Aborigines, and a push for Australia to sever ties with Britain's monarchy, led ideas on Sunday from a summit of the country's top 1,000 minds.

Sustained applause met calls for a vote on making Australia a republic before 2020, while economic heavyweights, including BHP-Billiton mining chief Marius Kloppers, demanded Australians be fifth on the list of the world's richest citizens in a decade.

"This has been a very Australian gathering," said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to a standing ovation at the close of a two-day brainstorming meeting charged with finding "big ideas" to improve the country's future by 2020.

"It's been characterised by a whole lot of good humour, a whole lot of mutual respect, and a whole lot of very classical, undeniable Australian directness," Rudd said.

Hollywood actors including Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett, who brought her week-old newborn son, and Hugh Jackman joined scientists, artists, central bankers, industrialists and environmentalists for the power summit at parliament.

Priority ideas, which Rudd's centre-left government will take up or reject by the end of the year, included speeding infrastructure construction to support the country's China-led resource boom and keep economic growth humming at 3.9 percent.

Other ideas included levies on junk food to make the country healthier, designing a bionic eye, and having corporate-backed schools with mandatory arts and creativity classes.

"By 2020, we want to be celebrating the fact that creativity is central to sustaining and defining the nation," said a black-clad Blanchett, handing Rudd a folder of "homework" ideas.

Following a recent Rudd apology for decades of past injustices, Aboriginal leaders called for a formal treaty with white Australians and closure of a 17-year life expectancy divide between indigenous people and the rest of the nation.

"We want to close the gap in all the areas that keep us back and hold us back in terms of our human dignity," said indigenous rights activist Jackie Huggins, calling for a "Healing Fund" paid for from an expected A$20 billion (9.4 billion pound) budget surplus.

Foreign affairs experts called for more engagement with Asia and Pacific nations, while environmentalists suggested carbon-neutral buildings and a national climate plan.

But it was the suggestion for a republic which drew most cheers, although Rudd has called it a second-tier priority for his government. A national vote in 1999 was rejected amid republican infighting over the style of presidency.

"A plebiscite to decide whether to sever ties and secondly a referendum to decide on the model," said Rupert Murdoch's Australian newspaper chief John Hartigan, who chaired one of 10 summit groups.

Rudd, who is Australia's most popular leader for 20 years, said Australian should try harder to be "a force for good in the world" and the summit was just a start point.

"I don't want to have to explain to my kids and perhaps their kids too that we failed to act, that we avoided the tough decisions, that we failed to prepare Australia for its future challenges," Rudd said.

(Editing by Bill Tarrant)

FACTBOX of Salman Rushdie

FACTBOX-British writer Salman Rushdie

Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 <(Reuters) - British author Salman Rushdie, 60, says that time is running out, and with only a handful of books left in him he is choosing his subjects carefully.

His 10th novel, "The Enchantress of Florence", was published earlier this month.

Rushdie is best known for his novel "The Satanic Verses," which outraged many Muslims and prompted death threats that forced him to live in hiding for nine years.

Here are some facts about Rushdie:


-- Salman Rushdie was born to Muslim parents in Mumbai (Bombay) in June 1947, two months before Indian independence led to the creation of Pakistan as a separate Muslim state.

-- At 13 he was sent to Rugby, a private school in England. There he says he first encountered racism and was rejected by his peers despite his academic prowess. His essays were torn up and slogans were daubed on walls.

-- In 1965 he went to King's College, Cambridge to read history. After graduating, he went to Pakistan and lived with his family who had moved there in 1964. He worked briefly in television there before returning to Britain and working as a copywriter for an advertising agency. His first novel, "Grimus", was published in 1975.


-- Rushdie shot to fame in 1981 when his second novel, "Midnight's Children," a magical-realist exploration of Indian history, won the Booker Prize for Fiction. In 1993 the novel was judged to have been the "Booker of Bookers", the best novel to have won the prize in the award's 25-year history.

-- "The Satanic Verses", which won him worldwide notoriety when it appeared in 1988, is an allegorical fantasy about the struggle between good and evil, a surrealist journey by an Asian immigrant into an alien Western environment which questions the tenets of Islam.

-- Book burnings, riots across the Muslim world and calls for the novel to be banned culminated on February 14, 1989 in a death edict, or fatwa, proclaimed against Rushdie by Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who deemed the book blasphemous to Islam.

-- Rushdie went into hiding for nine years. In 1998 the Iranian government formally distanced itself from the death edict, but hardline groups in Iran regularly renew the call for his murder, saying Khomeini's fatwa is irrevocable.


-- In 2007 Britain awarded Rushdie a knighthood, defending its decision when some Muslims complained that honouring the author of "The Satanic Verses" was offensive to Islam.

-- The knighthood, for services to literature, prompted diplomatic protests from Pakistan and Iran and demonstrations in Pakistan and Malaysia.


-- His new novel, "The Enchantress of Florence", is an historical novel set in Renaissance Florence and the court of the Mughal Empire in India. It follows a woman trying to command her own destiny in a man's world. Rushdie's previous novel "Shalimar the Clown" was published in 2005.

Sources: Reuters/www.contemporarywriters.com

(Writing by David Cutler)

With clock ticking, Rushdie makes careful choices

Monday, Apr 21, 2008 By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Author Salman Rushdie says time is running out, so with only a handful of books left in him he is choosing his subjects carefully.

Having just published his 10th novel, "The Enchantress of Florence", the 60-year-old plans to write a children's story next to keep a promise he made to his younger son Milan.

"I promised my younger son, who is just coming up to 11, that I would write another book for younger readers, because he read 'Haroun and the Sea of Stories' not so long ago and was very fond it," Rushdie told Reuters in a recent interview.

"But he's also well aware of the fact that it's written for his older brother, so he's now begun to say 'Where's my book?' and there's no answer to that except to write it. I had to do a deal with him to be allowed to write this book (Enchantress)."

Rushdie typically takes three to five years to write a book.

"You think 'How many more have I got?' And so the question of which ones ... becomes unusually important when you are no longer immortal.

"When you are 25 you think you can do anything, loads of time, and now there isn't loads of time. Fortunately, I think one of the things you get better at as a writer as you get older is subject selection."

Another advantage of advancing years and a focussed mind, Rushdie believes, is that criticism becomes easier to bear.

"It's always nicer when people get it and like it than when they don't get it and don't like it. But you reach a point ... when you realise how many good working years you've got left?

"When you are asking yourself those questions, which are life and death questions, what a given critic says of you is a very minor thing compared to that.

"I think when you're younger you can actually be deflected by criticism. It can actually get in your way."


What did upset Rushdie was attacks from the "non-Muslim" community in Britain after he was awarded a knighthood last year, which he described as "a carnival of hate".

Politicians in Iran, Pakistan and other Muslim countries criticised Britain's decision to honour the writer who, 20 years ago, sparked fury with his novel "The Satanic Verses" which was deemed to have blasphemed against Islam.

While Rushdie expected such a reaction, which soon petered out, he added: "I did get surprised by the extent to which non-Muslim criticism in this country seemed to use it as a moment to really have a go at me.

"Suddenly it seemed like everybody who had ever had something against me was able to get acres of space in the newspapers to say what a bastard I was, and that my books were lousy and why didn't you give the knighthood to the postman because he wrote better than I did."

The Indian-born writer feels he is judged for what people think he is, not what he writes, the result of fame bordering on celebrity due to nine years in hiding after a death sentence was issued in 1989 by the then supreme religious leader of Iran.

"My general plan at the moment is to simplify my life," he said. "Again that is a sense of the clock ticking. You want to get done things you want to get done and in my mind that's mostly family, work, friends."

(Editing by Giles Elgood)

Monday, February 11, 2008


Dani Ahmad; adalah seorang musisi besar Indonesia. Dia bukan musisi tapi juga produser yg tajam penciuman bisnis nya.. di republik cinta dia mempunyai beberapa produk seperti; Wulan Jamilah, dewi-dewi, the rock dan setelah punya beberapa café sekarang dia juga launching café barunya THE ROCK. pokoke dia makin tajir aja dech!!!

Monday, February 4, 2008

thinking of you

Hi friends,
i am thinking of you to day and this is just a note to say that you are a wonderful person, thank you for visiting my site, hugs and kisses. have a nice and sexy day, semoga sukses selalu.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sex,life and passion

Sex begitu menggoda,daya tariknya begitu besar!aku sengaja mengawali
blog ini dgn tema sex.gak bermaksud apa2 cuma ingin mengundang minat
org tuk sekedar mengklik blog ini.sprt teori Sigmund frud :manusia
bertindak apapun karena sex.sex sentral ambisi manusia,sex itu naluri
paling dasar manusia yg paling purba! Virus menyebar paling sering di
pc via item2 sex,karna sex mengundang hasrat org tuk membukanya tak
peduli bahaya virus mengancam! Dam terus terang aku memakai judul2 sex
utk intimidasi minat org.walaupun pada kenyataannya isinya jauh dari
expectasi om2 yg rada sedikit nakal,utk ini aku mohon ma'af,tdk ada
keliaran fantasi sex disini,semuanya normatif! Tentu ini
mengecewakan..hahaha...sabar..sabar semua ada waktunya. Kekecewaan
anda semua adalah kewajaran sebagai manusia normal yg tak lepas dari
naluri purba. Sex itu passion yg akan mengundang minat,aku sangat
paham itu..hehe...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sex before married

Istilah ini mungkin org bule gak ngarti.yg bner mungkin free sex!jaman skrng mungkin bagi sebagian org di anggap wajar.tak terkecuali di desa terpencil apa lg di kota cosmopolitan macan jkt.karna akses pengumbar syawat gampang di dapat.                                                                Aku teringat cerita wejangan tanteku; wanita memberikan sex utk mendapatkan cinta.sebaliknya lelaki memberikan-seakan2 cinta untuk mendapatkan sex! Bagi lelaki cinta itu cuma alat bukan tujuan.wanita sebaliknya,sex itu cuma alat untuk mendapatkan cinta,padahal cinta itu sesuatu yg absurd! Abstrak! Cinta itu irrasional!.  Aku salut pada artis Nia Ramadhani,dia lebih memilih putus cinta dgn Bam,vokalis samson,yg meminta kehormatan Nia sebelum waktunya,Najis!0maka aku respect pada Nia,meskipun artis,glamour,tetap pnya nilai2 ketimuran yg menjunjung kehormatan wanita.
         aku kadang suka juga ngeliat tatapan mata lelaki.tapi jg ngeri dibuatnya.aku bingung itu taTAPAN KAgum apa tatapan penuh nafsu!.      Jadi aku sependapat dgn nia, sex sebelum nikah itu sangat merugikan wanita. seperti apa yg dikatakan nia; cowo itu berkata:kamu tak mau begitu berarti kamu tak cintaq gw,apa jawaBAN nia :justru kamu yg tak cinta aku,dgn begitu justru kamu merusak masa depan gw..

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

soft launching blog baru erni

ini blog baru percobaan ,jadi blom resmi benar.Kalau masih katro wajar ajalah.blog ini makan berisi catatan refleksi perjajalanan erni.Bisa juga nyerempet2 masalah sex.tentunya tidak seperti yang om-om bayangkan,cuma sebatas pemikiran anak remaja yg baru akil baliq.jadi tunggu aja deh,ini akan seru! jadi nantikan posting2 selanjutnya.Akan banyak kejutan-kejutan,jauh melebihi apa yg anda pikirkan dan anda bayangkan!!!so nantikan saja!tapi sabar,idenya masih lom muncul,mungkin untuk sementara cukup seminggu sekali aja dulu,tapi tidak menutup kemungkinan,kalau banyak ilham lebih dari itu...

Monday, January 14, 2008

welcome jan 08

selamat datang di blog Erni. sweet 17. new kid on the block. Erni is the sweetest female blogger in blogspot. she is the nicest when you got to know her. great girl.

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