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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



""The United States military is preparing to establish a drone base in northwest Africa so that it can increase surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region. For now, officials say they envision flying only unarmed surveillance drones from the base, though they have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point if the threat worsens. The move is an indication of the priority Africa has become in American antiterrorism efforts. The United States military has a limited presence in Africa, with only one permanent base, in the country of Djibouti, more than 3,000 miles from Mali, where French and Malian troops are now battling Qaeda-backed fighters who control the northern part of Mali. For now, officials say they envision flying only unarmed surveillance drones from the base, though they have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point if the threat worsens.  The move is an indication of the priority Africa has become in American antiterrorism efforts. The United States military has a limited presence in Africa, with only one permanent base, in the country of Djibouti, more than 3,000 miles from Mali, where French and Malian troops are now battling Qaeda-backed fighters who control the northern part of Mali. A new drone base in northwest Africa would join a constellation of small airstrips in recent years on the continent, including in Ethiopia, for surveillance missions flown by drones or turboprop planes designed to look like civilian aircraft. If the base is approved, the most likely location for it would be in Niger, a largely desert nation on the eastern border of Mali. The American military’s Africa Command, or Africom, is also discussing options for the base with other countries in the region, including Burkina Faso, officials said." (NYTimes)

"This past Thursday night, designer Nicole Hanley Mellon hosted a cocktail party at her residence at The Pierre Hotel in honor of Ambassador Mary M. Ourisman, chairman of the upcoming 56th Annual International Red Cross Ball. Ambassador Ourisman, the United States' last ambassador to Barbados, attended the private gathering of friends and supporters, many of whom divide their time between New York and Palm Beach. Nicole Hanley Mellon and her husband, Matthew T. Mellon II, serve as associate chairmen of the ball set to take place at The Breakers - Palm Beach on Friday, February 8th. The annual event welcomes ambassadors, dignitaries, government, civic officials and philanthropic leaders from around the world who support the American Red Cross. Among supporters in attendance were Julie Macklowe, Zang Toi, Nicole Noonan and Steven Knobel, Michele Gerber Klein, Jean Shafiroff, Alex Donner, Leesa Rowland, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Michelle Marie Heinemann, Catherine Todd, Lady Liliana Cavendish, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Maggie Norris, Karen Klopp, Felicia Taylor, R. Couri Hay, Christine Schott, Mark Gilbertson, Elizabeth Meigher, and Dori Cooperman. The 56th Annual International Red Cross Ball will honor actress Dina Merrill Hartley, whose mother Marjorie Merriweather Post, founded the ball in 1957." (NYSocialDiary)



"Carole Mallory, the actress and model who wrote 'Loving Mailer' about her eight-year affair with Norman Mailer, has penned another book about her exploits with famous men — including Robert De Niro, whom she alleges wore socks in bed. 'Picasso’s Ghost' chronicles Mallory’s relationship and broken engagement to Pablo Picasso’s son Claude, as well as affairs with Peter Sellers and Richard Gere. 'I was jilted by Claude Picasso, and I spent most of my life trying to shore up my bad feelings about myself,' she tells us. 'A lot of my seeking out famous men was to prove I was OK. I felt terribly wounded when he jilted me. I felt validated by celebrities.' Mallory, who starred in 'The Stepford Wives,' met De Niro in 1975 at the Chateau Marmont, and the pair had a 14-day affair. “During lovemaking, he never stopped looking in my eyes,' she writes. She continues, 'He had a butterfly tattoo that I later realized matched his flighty spirit. So did the fact he left his socks on.' She added, 'The following year he married Diahnne Abbott . . . I would have appreciated a phone call' ...  Mallory, 71, who now teaches writing at Rosemont College and Temple University in Philly, breathlessly describes a one-night stand with Gere in the late ’70s: 'His gymnastic skills were apparent. He made love his way . . . He didn’t withhold. He was Valentino in the flesh. A sex symbol not to be forgotten. Not to be lumped in with all the others, but to be remembered for his uniqueness. His thoughtfulness. His caring.'" (PageSix)  
  "It's Jeff Zucker's job to make CNN relevant again, and he's doing it the only way he knows how. The network announced today that former Good Morning America anchor and the governor's brother Chris Cuomo is leaving ABC in an attempt to save the mornings at CNN. Zucker, as explained by Vulture's Josef Adalian, first made his name in the morning infotainment game, jump-starting NBC's Today show into dominance. And CNN could use the jolt: Currently in Cuomo's soon-to-be slot is Soledad O'Brien's Starting Point, which last year tallied fewer total viewers in the a.m. hours than any time over the last decade. Zucker has also added John Berman as a co-host to Early Start, the network's 5 to 7 a.m. show, along with Jake Tapper, the star White House correspondent who will transition this year into anchor-dom. To make room for his team, Zucker is also doing some housecleaning: Fishbowl D.C. reports that husband and wife Mary Matalin and James Carville will not renew their contributor contracts at CNN, with Bill Bennet and Maria Cardona also moving on. 'I was told that they wanted the contributors to be more available — essentially, closer to Washington,' Carville told Politico. 'I'm not always available, I don't live there.' He said it was not his choice to leave. Meanwhile, Erick Erickson, the Red State blogger turned professional righty pundit, will leave CNN for Fox News, which has a Sarah Palin–size hole to fill."(NYMag)
"Between the Literary Seminar, a sailing boat race and with the winter influx of snowbirds the tiny city of Key West is currently stuffed to its eyeballs. Even my reliable parking spot behind the courthouse has been discovered, and I’m forced to putter on searching for a free space, like a tourist. I was lucky enough to have been made a gift of a pass to the Literary Seminar which was a thorough delight. Held in the old Cuban meeting hall on Duval Street the stage was decorated with scrims of Trompe-l’œil bookshelves and every seat in the house was occupied. This was the 31st annual Seminar with a theme of biographers and their subjects. The events were well attended with types come to soak up the bon mots of the participating luminaries, many in the crowd scribbling feverishly into notebooks on their laps. I made a point of arriving as late as feasible and entering the darkened auditorium and stopping immediately just inside the heavy door. And from here, leaning against the back wall which was oddly padded and thus comfortable, I watched. It was decidedly impressive to listen and absorb the intelligence of these productive and prolific and earnest authors. Yet there was a coliseum feeling of observing terrified victims, even those who managed to appear poised but spoke too quickly or too low, telltale signs of nerves. I was so grateful it was not me up on that stage. Public engagements make me so nervous I miss most of everything. Here I could drink up every last drop. I listened more than I watched because shaggy heads of hair obscured my line of vision and I could not always see the stage. My attention drifted when the whisperings of a group of women nearby invaded my mind. I shot them an evil look and they gasped and quietened, momentarily. It kills me to admit this but a lot of the learned utterances were over my head, mentions of writers I’ve never heard of, let alone read. I felt woefully ignorant and vowed to study a lot more very soon. My favorite moment was watching Edmund White, a luminary amongst luminaries ..." (Christina Oxenberg)












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