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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"On Tuesday, a Palestinian medical team cranked open the West Bank grave of former Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, took samples of his remains, and handed the evidence over to European experts to determine whether Arafat was poisoned -- by Israel, the theory goes -- before his death in 2004. 'This will bring closure,' Arafat's widow observed, "We will know the truth about why he died.' But that answer won't come for at least another three months, according to Palestinian medical officials. And even then, the results could very well be inconclusive. Polonium-210, which a Swiss lab detected on Arafat's clothing this summer, decomposes quickly. And if the long history of exhuming world leaders is any guide, the macabre exercise rarely proves the conspiracy theorists right. Here are seven of the most famous examples .." (ForeignPolicy)


"After three days of sporadic fighting in and around Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the city fell to the M23 rebel movement last Monday night, November 19. The following Thursday morning, the military spokesman of the M23, Col. Vianney Kazarama, was standing at an intersection in central Goma, addressing a group of young men. Government troops were said to be in the hills planning a counteroffensive, and United Nations peacekeepers, who had attacked the M23 forces with helicopter gunships before fleeing, were nearby, awaiting new orders. Kazarama didn't care, he said. He was thinking ahead. The M23 was going to create a better future not just for Goma but for all of Congo, he told the young men, and it needed their help. We have to go to Bukavu!' said Kazarama, referring to the capital of South Kivu province, some 60 miles south, and the presumed next step in the M23's march, 'and on to Kinshasa!' Kinshasa, the country's capital, is a rather more ambitious goal, lying some 1,000 miles west across a dense mass of jungle. Kazarama then repeated what has become his favorite refrain since his group burst onto the world stage last week, calling on the president of Congo to step down. 'Joseph Kabila must leave the country!' he said. Then he promised the young men that the M23, which officially formed in April, would provide them all with jobs. Some cheered. Others looked on skeptically. As he left, Kazarama, a tall man in forest camouflage, spotted my notebook and shook my hand. 'Bonjour, ca va, ca va,' he said in his choppy French. He got into a waiting SUV, and the spectators who'd followed him gathered around me. Like M23, they badly wanted to be heard. They were smart, articulate, and, for the most part, they told me, unemployed. 'If they have this mission, all Congolese must be behind them, because what the colonel is saying is true," one young man said. 'People are suffering. We are living without food. We are ready to fight to Kinshasa.' A street vendor pushed his way through the crowd and lifted up a clutch of fake leather belts that he sells. 'The president wants me to pay a surtax on these,' he said. 'What kind of life are we leading? Tell him to quit his job and leave the population alone.' At the sound of Kabila's name, someone shouted mwongo sana -- 'big liar' in Swahili. Then 'mwizi sana' -- big thief." (Foreignpolicy)


"President Obama and Mitt Romney will meet for a private lunch at the White House on Thursday — their first meeting since the election. The administration announced the meeting on Wednesday and noted it will be closed to the press. Romney will also meet with his vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday, a Ryan aide has confirmed to The Hill. The Romney and Obama sit-down comes amid a heated battle between Democrats and Republicans over the upcoming fiscal cliff. Following his overwhelming election victory, Obama said he wanted to meet with Romney to discuss how he could work with the GOP nominee and Republican Party leaders on the economic challenges facing the country. And during the White House briefing on Wednesday, press secretary Jay Carney said that there are 'aspects' of Romney's record that Obama believes can be 'very helpful,' including his management of the Olympics. 'I don't have an agenda for the lunch,' Carney said, adding that only the two men will be in the room. He did say they'll discuss ways of 'making the federal government more efficient.' 'I'm sure it will be a useful discussion,' he said." (TheHill)


"Rumors about former NBC Universal head Jeff Zucker taking over as head of CNN Worldwide started almost as soon as current president Jim Walton announced this summer that he would be stepping down at the end of the year. Now sources tell multiple news outlets that the deal is nearly done and we should expect an announcement about Zucker's new role as early as this week. If Zucker is in fact abandoning his position as executive producer of Katie, Katie Couric's daytime talk show, he'll be facing a Herculean task at CNN. While the company as a whole is poised to have its most profitable year ever, its flagship network in the U.S. has been sagging in the ratings. To stay competitive, Zucker will have to forge a new identity for CNN that's something more than 'not MSNBC or Fox News.' 'They don't want to be Fox and they don't want to be MSNBC. Fine. But 'neither nor' is not an identity,' media critic Jay Rosen told the New York Times, echoing the criticisms many have for the middle-of-the-road network." (NYMag)


"Demi Moore is back in the arms of another much younger man after splitting with husband Ashton Kutcher, Page Six can exclusively reveal. Sources tell us that Moore, 50, has been quietly spending time with Vito Schnabel, the dapper art dealer son of star painter Julian, who, at 26, is about half her age. Moore and Schnabel first got cozy, we hear, as guests at Naomi Campbell’s over-the-top 50th birthday party earlier this month for billionaire boyfriend Vladimir Doronin in Jodhpur, India. 'They were dancing and grinding all over each other, openly, in front of other guests,' said a spy who attended the bacchanal at the majestic Mehrangarh Fort where Diana Ross performed and partygoers included models Kate Moss, Eva Herzigova and Karolina Kurkova. Since the bash in early November, a source tells us the 'wildly age-inappropriate pair' have been 'quietly spending time together.' Like Moore, the handsome junior Schnabel is no stranger to May-December romances. The cougar tamer reportedly dated Elle Macpherson when the Aussie model was 44 and he was just 21. He’s also reportedly dated nine-years-older Liv Tyler. And Schnabel’s dad, Julian, 60, has just gotten engaged to May Andersen, 30, the ex-model-turned-assistant director at the trendy Hole Gallery." (PageSix)


"Late last month, The Millbrook Hunt held its annual Hunt ball. Founded in the 1890s, The Millbrook Hunt is widely acknowledged as one of the premier equestrian organizations in North America and has been a fixture for over 100 years. The presence of the Millbrook Hunt supports and enhances the character and atmosphere of the area and helps to maintain the overall quality of life and historic traditions of the region. The Hunt sponsors equestrian-related events, including trail rides, hunter paces, hunter trials and hound and puppy shows, many of which are open to the entire community. The Hunt also maintains riding trails at its own expense. A most important benefit of the Millbrook Hunt has been to strengthen the concept of 'open space' in the greater Millbrook area and it plays a vital role in supporting land conservation and stewardship and the preservation of wildlife habitats. The equestrian traditions of Millbrook are a critical element in the broad effort to contain development in the the countryside, thereby maintaining the rural and agrarian spirit which is a foundation of the community." (NYSocialDiary)



"'You know, I was getting dressed to come over here tonight, and I realized that I was here 15 years ago, at the Gotham Awards, and I remember that because it was the first time—it was right before Good Will Hunting came out,' Matt Damon told the crowd at the I.F.P. Gotham Awards on Monday, where he received a career tribute. 'And it was, like, the first moment my life got really surreal, because Calvin Klein gave me a suit. For free. And that was the first time that ever happened . . . the first moment my life got really surreal,' he said. The ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street officially kicked off the movie-awards season, specifically awards for independent film. This year’s nominees included Beasts of the Southern Wild, Your Sister’s Sister, Moonrise Kingdom, and Silver Linings Playbook. Getting indie films made is not easy, and some of the nominees told us their secrets for getting their projects off the ground." (VanityFair)

 

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