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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mwedia-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Pope Francis said in the first peace message of his pontificate that huge salaries and bonuses are symptoms of an economy based on greed and inequality and called again for nations to narrow the wealth gap. In his message for the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Peace, marked around the world on January 1, he also called for sharing of wealth and for nations to shrink the gap between rich and poor, more of whom are getting only 'crumbs'. 'The grave financial and economic crises of the present time ... have pushed man to seek satisfaction, happiness and security in consumption and earnings out of all proportion to the principles of a sound economy,' he said. 'The succession of economic crises should lead to a timely rethinking of our models of economic development and to a change in lifestyles,' he said. Francis, who was named Time magazine's Person of the Year on Wednesday, has urged his own Church to be more fair, frugal and less pompous and to be closer to the poor and suffering. His message will be sent to national leaders, international organizations such as the United Nations, and NGO's. Titled 'Fraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace', the message also attacked injustice, human trafficking, organized crime and the weapons trade as obstacles to peace. Anger at multi-million payouts for executives has swept across the globe as the economic crisis has deepened and the gap between the super-rich and the poor has widened.
But last month, Swiss voters rejected a proposal to cap the salaries of top executives at 12 times that of a company's lowest wage, heeding warnings from industry leaders that the measure could harm the country's economy." (Reuters)


"'When the cop stopped me, I had cocaine all over the car,' my friend 'V' told me. 'He took one look at me and said, ‘Clean yourself up, and I don’t ever want to see you again.’' He let me go, and I never took cocaine again, my friend said. V tried calling up the police station of that time, but they said no officer of that name worked there. He called all the surrounding police stations and the state police, and nobody by that name worked anywhere. He was an angel. 'Uh-huh,' I said. I was nodding to anything. I was advising my friend on how to sell his company, a mental health institution that catered to the needs of kids who were drug addicts. He was the founder and CEO. Someone had recently offered him $10 million for his company. I told him to turn it down. I thought he could make a lot more. 'Look at this,' he told me. He showed me his favorite porn site. He gave me the password.
If anyone sits in this chair in the mornings, it’s always sticky, he said. He laughed. Life was good for him. He was going to make a lot of money." (Observer)


"Early winter cold out there on the streets of New York yesterday. Getting colder, very heavy traffic everywhere. You can feel the energy of the upcoming holiday. Wednesday it was Michael’s and there was that energy I’m referring too. I was having lunch with my friend Dr. Cheryl Karcher who is also my dermo with Sadick Dermatology at 911 Park. I don’t go to her for cosmetic procedures, in case you’re wondering; although I’m sure there are a lot of men who do. I go to her when I’m wondering about that spot on the back of my shoulder or wherever, and is it ...? So far it’s been what she calls a barnacle. (Age.) However, I planned to ask Cheryl about her business because I know so many women who get cosmetic touchups fairly frequently. It’s phenomenal to me but ordinary, every day to a lot of people.  I was at dinner a couple of weeks ago seated next to a woman I’ve known since the Sixties. I reminded her of this fact, and then, looking at her, suddenly I added: 'You look exactly the same!' She smiled and said, 'Yes. Botox.'  My friend started to laugh; it was true. I was surprised. We went on to more important subjects but it was interesting because she looked great." (NYSocialDiary)


"As devoted as we are to covering the Fellini-esque scene that is Wednesdays at Michael’s, we do occasionally break tradition and report the news from 55th and Fifth on other days of the week when we’re invited to especially dishy lunches with A-listers. Monday’s head-spinning gathering of the 'Cosmo 100' hosted by the hotter-than-hot editrix Joanna Coles more than fit the bill. Boasting one of the year’s most impressive guest lists, the estrogen-fueled confab now in its second year, brilliantly showcased Joanna’s savvy for bringing together her vast network of female overachievers from every conceivable sphere of influence for the dual purpose of some high-profile networking and some serious brand building. 'Last year when I came up with the idea for this lunch, people came and didn’t really know what to expect,' Joanna told me as she stood in the lounge accepting air kisses and posing for photos with the growing throng of well-wishers. 'This year, we had people calling up asking to come.'Among those that did make the final cut: actresses Sarah Jessica Parker ('This is my new favorite yearly lunch!' she told me) and The Carrie Diaries star AnnaSophia Robb (The original Carrie and Carrie 2.0 met for the first time in the dining room and posed for their first ever joint photo during cocktails); The Daily Show‘s Samantha Bee; Arianna HuffingtonMika Brzezinski (whose late arrival during Joanna’s opening remarks earned the Morning Joe cohost some cheeky chiding about her tardiness); celebrity fitness guru Tracy Anderson; supermodel Coco Rocha (who sported a chic shorter hairstyle and towered over the crowd); producer Desiree Gruber; designers Georgina Chapman and Stacey Bendet; Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon" (Diane Clehane)


"The Palm Beach rich kids who rented the Miami mansion which was the scene of last week’s alleged Barron Hilton beatdown are now being dragged into the battle. Remington 'Remy' Levine, the heir to Family Dollar discount store fortune, and Morgan O’Connor, 18, a Ralph Lauren model who’s also dating Lindsay Lohan, are alleged to owe nearly $7,000 for the rental of the Star Island mansion after they were all kicked out following the Dec. 5 altercation between Barron and blogger Ray LeMoine. LeMoine, who with a group of promoters rented the house with the Palm Beach scions, told Page Six: 'One of our young DJs is a Palm Beach winter resident. He told us that two of his friends, Remington and Morgan, wanted a Star Island mansion for the art fair and had about $15,000-25,000 to cover their friends. We found the mansion . . . It was settled that they would take most of the bedrooms for three nights minimum at $10,000, and we would cover the deposit and our share.' 'When Morgan got to town, he said he only had plastic, which wasn’t accepted by the house manager. We tried to hit a bank but there was more excuses — Morgan forgot his ID. Remy landed and the excuses kept coming. Then there was the drama with Barron, and they all split. They stopped taking our calls.'" (PageSix)


"Recent challenges in exporting energy to Europe have made an orientation toward Asia more desirable for Moscow. Russia's economy depends on hydrocarbon exports, and while Western Europe is attempting to become less dependent on Russia by seeking new energy sources, Asian markets have large and indiscriminate appetites for energy. Although Russia's focus in Asia traditionally has been on China, Japan and South Korea, it also has ties to Southeast Asia, which remains a strategically significant -- though not absolutely essential -- area for Moscow's efforts to extend its influence and energy exports eastward. Notably, Moscow recently struck a spate of energy and defense deals with Hanoi in an effort to strengthen their relationship, open up new markets for Russian energy and balance against China's moves in Central Asia. Moscow's moves into Asia through Vietnam are proceeding piecemeal, paralleling Russian moves elsewhere in the region.More than 70 percent of Russian territory lies in Asia. Siberia and the Russian Far East -- sparsely populated regions holding significant mineral and hydrocarbon resources -- border China, North Korea, Mongolia and Kazakhstan and have a 4,500-kilometer (2,800-mile) Pacific coastline. Russia's Asian interests also lie to the south, in the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Russia remains influential within these states and, under Vladimir Putin's leadership as president and prime minister, has made efforts to secure its southeastern flank anchored by the Tien Shan mountains. However, Russia's influence in Central Asia faces challenges from China, which naturally looks westward to extend its influence.Central Asia is not the only area where Russian and Chinese interests collide. The Asian giants' relationship has long been tense, with Sino-Soviet border disputes erupting into violence several times during the Cold War. Russia and China clearly defined their borders in 1991 but have remained in competition abroad. Russia also has a history of conflict with Japan. The countries have been longtime rivals in the northwestern Pacific, and Japan defeated Russia in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. In the final years of the Soviet Union, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev began orienting his foreign policy toward Asia in response to a rising Japan. Putin has also piloted a much-touted pivot to Asia, coinciding with renewed U.S. interest in the area, and hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2012 in Vladivostok, near Russia's borders with China and North Korea. Russia's efforts in Asia have been limited by the country's more direct interests in its periphery and in Europe, but Moscow recently has been able to look more to the east." (STRATFOR)


"Oprah wuz robbed! America’s favorite talk show goddess was expected to swan through awards season—and maybe even take home her second Academy Award—for her fierce, semi-frightening performance as Forest Whitaker’s boozy wife in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. But the Oprah Express seems to have derailed this morning, when Winfrey failed to score a nomination at the Golden Globes. She was crowded out in the Best Supporting Actress category by Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), June Squibb (Nebraska), and surprise nominee Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), who appears to have stolen Oprah’s seat. Serious Oscar-watchers scoff at the idea that the Golden Globes are a predictive indicator for who will succeed at the Academy Awards After all, unlike the Oscars, which are voted by some 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Globes are chosen by a handful of foreign “journalists,” some of whom seem more interested in padding their guest list with A-listers than recognizing the year’s most accomplished performances. And yet, for that very reason, Oprah was considered a mortal lock to score a nod. After all, who wouldn’t want Oprah at their party?" (VanityFair)

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