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  • The Liberation Of Lizzy Caplan: How The 'Masters Of Sex' Star Finally Got On Top

    A bone scraper and a sausage piper surround Lizzy Caplan, and yet she is nowhere near the set of her show, "Masters of Sex." She is wearing jeans and open-toe sandals. This may have been a mistake, since she is walking into a refrigerator filled with dead pigs on hooks. It's a tight fit into the meat locker of Lindy & Grundys, a posh Los Angeles butcher shop, and one of her human shoulders brushes against a pork shoulder. Caplan lets out a small yelp.

    "This is horrifying," she says with a grin. "I don't eat a lot of pig because the outside is the same color as the meat. You need that disconnect you get with beef."

    ‘Masters of Sex’ Q&A with Star Michael Sheen

    Caplan is here for a sausage-making class, and, a little later, she is introduced to the Dickeron, a swordlike knife-sharpening contraption. Her hair, in a Fifties bob for her Emmy-nominated role of sexologist Virginia Johnson, starts, well, bobbing up and down.

    "Pretty soon, I'm going to be making my own sausage," says Caplan. She pauses, popping the giant greenish-gray eyes that have dominated multiple TV shows and movies that no one watched. "Once I get my own dick machine."
    Caplan picked the sausage-making class for our meeting, and I joke that I felt a tad uncomfortable writing about a female kneading pork. "I'm making it difficult for you because you're going to have to figure out clever ways not to make innuendos about sausages," says Caplan. But wouldn't jokes be OK because she chose the place? Caplan gives me a withering stare. "I guess you could, but I'm expecting more from you."

    It was hard to tell if she was kidding or not. This is a vibe Caplan gives off to the uninitiated. "Part of her shtick is to come across as cold and standoffish at first, but it's not at all what she's like," says Seth Rogen, who has known her since they were teenagers on "Freaks and Geeks" and who recently directed Caplan in the upcoming spy caper "The Interview." "Lizzy's very sweet once you get to know her. She has always played the smart, funny girl who cuts through the bullshit. That's much harder than what I do, playing dumb."

    In Pics: America’s Hottest Sex Symbols

    In a way, the sausage-making conundrum is an apt metaphor for Caplan's career. (No, really.) At 32, Caplan is best known for playing the anti-manic pixie dream girl (see Zooey Deschanel and Kirsten Dunst) in a bushel of little-seen but hilarious enterprises – get ye online and watch the caterers on Vicodin in "Party Down" or 2012's girls-gone-wilding "Bachelorette" – where she's the snarky girl with a heart made of some metallic concoction that is not gold. It was a great life, but Caplan felt hemmed in as "that girl" and wondered if that was all Hollywood had for her.

    And that's where sex came in. Caplan is winding up the second season of Showtime's "Masters of Sex," where she plays the research partner/lab partner/sex partner of Dr. William Masters as they delve into the study of sexual behavior during the 1950s. Eventually, their studies would land them fame, but the first years were harrowing, particularly for Johnson. There's more than a little of Caplan in Johnson, not so much the sex part as wanting to be taken seriously in an industry more than happy to overlook her. The doubts of casting directors became her own doubts.

    Bollywood stars tone down glamour to claim Chandigarh’s daughter tag

    From the glitz and glamour of Bollywood to the heat and dust of elections. Actors Gul Panag and Kirron Kher are trying to shun their celebrity tag to claim another -- of being “Chandigarh’s daughter”.
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    In contrast to her on-screen presence, the glamour quotient is missing in the attire and campaign style of Panag. Dressed in a plain salwar-kameez and the Aam Aadmi Party cap, her poll campaign is high on symbolism.

    On Wednesday, she started by an early morning visit to Khatkar Kalan in Nawanshahr district, the birthplace of martyr Bhagat Singh, and later held a road show at Maloya village after a door-to-door campaign in its market area. Though some young volunteers follow the former Miss India wearing AAP caps, her small cavalcade comprises mainly family and friends besides a few AAP workers and women volunteers.

    Riding an SUV driven by her cousin, she walks the streets of the village addressing middleaged women as Bhabhiji and elderly ones as Mataji, asking them to sweep out corruption by pressing on the AAP button. To the men, she smiles and appeals with folded hands: “Jinhone is desh ko barbad kiya, unhe dubara is desh ki zimedari mat sompiye (Do not pass the reins of this country to those who destroyed it).
    Accompanying her are her poll manager, Simran, a cousin who has flown from Mumbai, and her aunt, who lament there is little money to campaign. Her husband is helping manage the party office. “She called her family and friends after winning the nomination and we are all here leaving our children and jobs,” says Simran.

    But Panag claims elections are fought by passion, not funds. “We don’t have resources and PR cells like big parties but our workers are dedicated. All I have is my two feet and I can’t rest till the elections,” she says.

    On her vision for Chandigarh, she points to the streets of the village. “Does it look a part of posh Chandigarh? I have a problem with the term inclusive growth. It means no equal opportunity for education, jobs and basic facilities. Chandigarh’s infrastructure is crumbling under the growing population.”
    Though she avoids hitting out at her political opponents directly, she takes a dig at Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal by talking of “those who got clean chit despite indulging in corruption” and BJP’s Kirron Kher as a “mother figure who is contesting at an age people retire”.

    Other than their Bollywood and Chandigarh connection -they were both born in the city --army background and dimples, there is little in common between the two stars.

    Kher, who landed in Chandigarh on Tuesday to black flags shown by a deeply divided BJP unit, started her poll campaign by first meeting the city’s industrialists and traders at a hotel. After presidents of many associations presented her bouquets, she bears the long speeches with a smile and at times humour.

    Gaza strikes kill 4, EU pushes truce plan

    Israeli air strikes have killed four Palestinians in Gaza as European governments sought UN action to end more than six weeks of bloodshed.

    Fighting flared anew on Tuesday as Egyptian-brokered truce efforts collapsed, with Israel insistent on its demand for security from rocket fire by Gaza militants, and Hamas defiant over its call for an end to eight years of Israeli blockade.

    The death toll since July 8 now stands at least 2087 Palestinians dead, three-quarters of them civilians according to the United Nations, and 67 on the Israeli side, nearly all of them soldiers.

    Two men aged 22 and 24 were killed in a strike on Nusseirat refugee camp early on Friday, emergency services said.

    Two more were killed in an air raid near neighbouring Deir al-Balah.

    The Israeli military said it struck around 20 targets overnight but did not give details.

    Israeli media said the government was seeking US diplomatic help to head off the European bid at the UN to end the violence, the deadliest since the 2005 end of the second Palestinian intifada or uprising.

    Washington has wielded its veto powers at the UN Security Council repeatedly in the past on behalf of its Israeli ally.

    But relations have been strained over the breakdown of US-brokered peace efforts and concerns over the scale of the civilian death toll in Gaza.
    The draft presented by Britain, France and Germany came after one submitted by Jordan on behalf of the Arab League had run into US opposition.

    The European text urged an immediate and sustainable ceasefire, and a lifting of the Israeli blockade.

    It proposed a mechanism to monitor the ceasefire and supervise the movement of goods into Gaza to allay Israeli security concerns.

    It also called for Gaza's return to the control of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority led by President Mahmoud Abbas, seven years after his loyalists were driven out of the territory by the Islamists of Hams.

    The text provides for the lifting of economic and humanitarian restrictions on Gaza to allow for a massive reconstruction effort.

    UN chief Ban Ki-moon has pledged help to rebuild Gaza, but warned that it would be "for the last time" after three wars in six years.

    But as the diplomatic pressure for a ceasefire intensified, Israel showed no sign of ending its deadly campaign to halt rocket fire by Gaza militants.

    The security cabinet authorised the call-up of up to 10,000 army reservists in a new troop rotation, Israeli media reported.

    Finance Minister Yair Lapid, regarded as one of the less hawkish members of the security cabinet, threatened further deadly attacks on Hamas commanders after three leading militants were killed in a pre-dawn strike on Thursday.

    Putin plays aid convoy wildcard on eve of key Ukraine talks

     When German chancellor Angela Merkel visits Kiev today, she could be forgiven for imagining she hears an ominous rumbling in the distance. Her talks with Ukraine’s leaders will begin a crucial week of negotiations aimed at ending the country’s bloody crisis, but it will now start not only with guns booming in the east, but a huge convoy of Russian military trucks rolling through disputed territory.

    By sending his aid convoy into Ukraine yesterday without its permission or the co-operation of the Red Cross, Russian president Vladimir Putin sent a message of defiance to Kiev and its western allies.

    He showed he is determined to regain the initiative in Ukraine, despite recent setbacks suffered by Moscow-backed rebels who want eastern regions to join Russia, and the impact of his country’s growing economic and diplomatic isolation.
    The convoy of almost 300 trucks – many of which are almost empty – adds another unpredictable element to a volatile conflict that has killed more than 2,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands. The first trucks arrived last night in Luhansk, a city that has been without power, running water and telephone connections for almost a fortnight, and an island of rebel resistance to the rapid recent advance of Ukrainian troops.

    The separatist strongholds of Luhansk and Donetsk are now almost surrounded by government forces, raising hopes among Ukrainian military men that the insurgency could be crushed before tomorrow’s Independence Day celebrations.

    Kiev believes the aid convoy is Moscow’s way of slowing or halting the crackdown on the rebels, and could be used to provide a pretext for a full Russian invasion if it came under attack, either real or staged.

    It is not clear how long the trucks will stay in Ukraine, or even where they will attempt to go, with Russia potentially seeking to send them from Luhansk to Donetsk, through areas of fierce fighting. The convoy is Putin’s wildcard, and the fact he has played it now suggests Ukraine’s crisis is at a vital juncture.

    The 16 Best Towns To Live In, According To OUTSIDE Magazine

    With all the hustle, bustle, glitz and glamour you could ever want, urban centers are hard to pass up. But for the 1.5 million readers who casted their bracket-style votes inOUTSIDE magazine’s Best Towns Competition, that's certainly not the case.

    Between their "delectable dining scenes, friendly, walkable neighborhoods and unparalleled access to outdoor adventure," the top spots included in the publication's annual ranking are proudly showing what quality access to healthy eating options and green, open spaces looks like -- all while making the case for banishing the big city life.

    Check out how the pre-selected towns ranked this year (on a scale of 0 to 100), and see for yourself why you don't need a major metro to live large...-------MORE

    Russian Aid Convoy Drives Into Ukraine Seemingly Without Kiev's Approval

    Russia sent dozens of aid trucks into rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Friday without Kiev's approval, saying its patience had worn out with the Ukrainian government's stalling tactics. Ukraine called the move a "direct invasion."

    The unilateral move sharply raised the stakes in eastern Ukraine, for any attack on the convoy could draw the Russian military directly into the conflict between the Ukrainian government in Kiev and separatist rebels in the east. Ukraine has long accused Russia of supporting and arming the rebels, a charge Russia denies.

    The white-tarped semis said to be carrying food, water, generators and sleeping bags are intended to help civilians in the city of Luhansk, where government forces are besieging pro-Russian separatists. The city only 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Russian border has seen weeks of heavy shelling that has cut off power, water and phone lines and has left food supplies scarce.

    In the past few days, Ukraine says its troops have recaptured significant parts of Luhansk, the second-largest rebel-held city, and suspicions are running high that Moscow's humanitarian operation may instead be aimed at halting Kiev's military momentum. Fierce fighting has been reported this week both around Luhansk and the largest rebel-held city, Donetsk, with dozens of casualties.

    Four troops were killed and 23 wounded in the past 24 hours, the government reported at noon Friday.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross, which had planned to escort the Russian aid convoy to assuage fears that it would be used as a cover for a Russian invasion, said it had not received enough security guarantees to do so Friday.

    Ukrainian security service chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko on Friday called the arrival of the convoy a "direct invasion."

    "This is a direct invasion done under the cover of the Red Cross for the first time ever," Nalyvaichenko told reporters in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. "These are military men who have been trained to carry cargo, trained to drive combat vehicles, tanks and artillery."

    He asserted that the half-empty aid trucks would be used to transport weapons to rebels and spirit away the bodies of Russian fighters killed in eastern Ukraine.

    He promised, however, that Ukraine will not shell the convoy.

    AP journalists heard the contents of many aid trucks rattling and sliding around on the country road, confirming that many vehicles were only partially loaded.

    Ukraine had authorized the entrance of a few dozen trucks, but the number of Russian vehicles entering the country through a rebel-held border point Friday was clearly way beyond that amount.

    Team India Manager: 'Our Culture Does Not Allow Girlfriends on Tour'

    Defeat is never a pleasant experience and quite predictably blame games have begun after India's humiliation in the five-Test series against England.

    In a swift move a couple of days ago, the BCCI appointed Ravi Shastri as the Team Director for the remainder of the tour and sent the fielding and bowling coaches on leave. This decision has virtually put chief coach Duncan Fletcher on notice. Thereafter, the focus has now shifted to players and all those, who accompanied them during the series.

    It has emerged that actress Anushka Sharma giving company to Virat Kohli did not go down too well with the manager of the Indian Test side, Sunil Dev. On returning to his hometown Delhi yesterday, Dev told mid-day that he wasn't too happy with the actress' presence.

    "I would have objected to her presence, but was helpless when I realised that permission was granted by BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) secretary Sanjay Patel."
    Prez not in loop?

    He added: "I doubt whether the secretary even spoke to the interim BCCI president Shivlal Yadav before granting permission.

    I am sure he (Yadav) would have turned down the request. Anushka stayed with Virat till the third Test. Foreign players do take their girlfriends on tours, but India's culture is different.

    SC to interpret LoP provision for Lokpal selection

     The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to interpret Leader of Opposition (LoP) provision for the purpose of appointment of Lokpal in which LoP is a selection committee member and asked the Centre to make its stand clear within two weeks, saying the legislation cannot be put in “cold storage”.

    Emphasising the importance of the post, a bench headed by Chief Justice R. M. Lodha said Leader of Opposition conveys the voice of a representative different from government in the House.

    It said LoP is a very important component (under Lokpal law) and the issue needs objective consideration in view of current political situation where at present there is no Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

    The bench also observed that the issue of LoP is relevant not only in Lokpal law but also in other existing and incoming legislations.

    It said the issue cannot be prolonged and the act cannot be put in cold storage, while posting case for final disposal for September 9.

    Congress, as the second largest party in the Lok Sabha with 44 seats, has been making a strong bid for the LoP post but the ruling BJP has not acceded, saying the opposition party does not have the requisite 10 per cent seats which meant it needed 55 to stake claim.

    Black Women Call Taylor Swift's New Video 'Really Troubling'

    Taylor Swift got herself into some hot water with the music video for her new single "Shake It Off." The clip features Swift trying and failing to fit in with a number of subcultures, including that of ballerinas and break-dancers, but the scenes causing an uproar are the ones in which Swift crawls between the legs of a line of twerking dancers.

    The clip has spurred a negative reaction from commentators including Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt, who expressed his displeasure by tweeting that the video is "perpetuating black stereotypes to the same demographic of white girls who hide their prejudice by proclaiming their love of the culture."

    HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill discussed the controversy on Thursday with a panel that included comedian Amanda Seales, gender studies professor Treva Lindsey and writer Everdeen Mason, who doesn't believe Swift's use of twerking is racist.

    Check out part of the conversation in the video above, and catch the full HuffPost Live segment here.

    Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live's new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!

    This Is What The MTV VMAs Looked Like In 2004

    The 2004 MTV VMAs don't look all that different from the event you may find yourself tuning into on Sunday, Aug. 24. Many of the major players are still famous today, but it should be noted that it was only a decade ago that there was not a Kardashian in sight. But seriously, the 2004 VMAs were held at Miami's American Airlines Arena where P. Diddy kicked things off by arriving via luxury yacht, Beyonce and Jay Z were just a little too matchy-matchy, and, mercifully, it was the first year they decided to forgo a host. Let's take a trip down memory lane before this year's awards.

    Lesbians Are Having More Orgasms Than Straight Women

    A recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine focuses on how sexual orientation associates with orgasm frequency in single men and women. Researchers collected responses via a 2011 online questionnaire from 6,151 men and women between the ages of 21 and 65. They then only analyzed those response of a smaller subsample of 2,850 singles -- including 1,497 men and 1,353 women -- who had sex within the past 12 months.

    Participants were asked to identify their gender, sexual orientation and percentage of time they orgasm with a familiar partner on a scale of zero to 100.

    Although responses from the male participants did not vary much based on sexual orientation -- heterosexual men reported an 85.5 percent orgasm rate, gay men 84.7 percent, and bisexual men 77.6 percent -- responses from women showed notable variation. While heterosexual women reported orgasming 61.6 percent of the time and bisexual women reported 58 percent, lesbian women had the highest orgasm rate at 74.7 percent.

    In the study text, the researchers posit the higher lesbian percentage could be attributed to factors such as "self-identified lesbian women are more comfortable and familiar with the female body and thus, on average, are better able to induce orgasm in their female partners." Other reasonings include: length of the sexual encounter, attitude towards gender, sexual roles during intercourse and possible hormonal differences.

    Author Justin R. Garcia, MS, PhD, who is an assistant professor of gender studies and a director at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, explained the implications of the findings further in an email to The Huffington Post.

    "Little is known about orgasm occurrences among women and men of varied sexual orientations across the adult lifespan," he said. "Understanding the factors that influence variation in orgasm occurrence among sexual minority populations may assist in tailoring behavioral therapies for those of different sexual orientations."

    Kim Kardashian Is Back In A Bikini In Mexico Because Time Is A Flat Circle

    Kim Kardashian woke up today, and said "good morning" to Mexico.

    Less than a full month after her last stay in Punta Mita, the 33-year-old is back in a bikini and she just has one request:
    With her most recent trip to Ibiza, jaunts to the Hamptons and that family trip to Thailand, it's starting to look like Kim is racking up more vacation days than anything else ...

    UPDATE: Well, that was a quick trip. After working on her tan while she napped, Kardashian and her assistant learned it's "not easy taking a selfie [while] jet skiing." Later, she met up with husband Kanye West for "#MexicoNightsWithMySexyMan." And as it turns out the reality star's stay at the exclusive resort was just a quick one, since she posted a photo of the landscape and captioned it, "Bye Mexico! Every time we come it's a new set of memories & I'm grateful. Thank you Casa Aramara."

    'Game Of Thrones' Actor Rips Off His Shirt In Europe's Strongest Man Competition

    When you play the Game of Stones, you freak out or you die.

    Earlier this month, caka Gregor Clegane in "Game of Thrones," officially became Europe's Strongest Man, and he totally lost it.

    The Mountain completely sliced through the competition by taking first in three different events, according to Gawker, but the greatest highlight came when he completed a stone lifting challenge. After placing the final stone, the 6'9'' Icelander ripped off his shirt and went on to yell, "I am the future of strength as I am King of the Stones!"

    Listen To Charli XCX's New Song, 'Break The Rules'

    As "Fancy" is further jammed down our throats as the song of summer -- and even covered by The Killers -- Charli XCX has emerged with an anthem all her own. Premiered via BuzzFeed on the heels of Iggy Azalea's inexplicably enduring success, "Break The Rules" is the first single off of Charli XCX's new album, "Sucker," due out in October. Listen to the track below and, seriously, stop listening to "Fancy."

    Why Narendra Modi govt cancelled diplomatic talks with Pakistan: Explained

    Bangalore, Aug 19: Sending a serious warning to the neighbouring country, Narendra Modi government on Monday, Aug 19 announced that India would not continue bilateral talks with Pakistan. Here's why Indian government took this decision.

     Pakistan ignored India's previous warnings:

     Foreign Secretaries of both India and Pakistan were scheduled to meet on August 25 in Islamabad.

    Meanwhile, Abdul Basit, Pakistani High Commissioner, invited Kashmiri separatists to meet with him in Delhi.

    Pakistan's invitation to the separatists leaders irked Indian high commission. India warned the neighbouring country of not meeting separatist leaders in India.

    The separatists Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Shabir Shah are known for their anti-India rhetoric.

    The government sources informed that Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh had spoken to the Pakistani High Commissioner over phone and warned, "Either talk to separatists or talk to us."

    Snubbing all warnings from India, Pakistani High Commissioner in Delhi met Shabit Shah on Monday.

    Violation of ceasefire at India-Pakistan border: Already angered and aggrieved by repeated ceasefire violations at border, India took this bonhomie as interference in internal matter and cancelled the upcoming talk

    Around 50 border violation has been done by Pakistani troops in this year and that has been increased since new Government took the power. However, Pakistan denied all allegations and retaliated by saying India should not practice "a blame game."

     India took its tough stand:

     Spokesperson of Foreign Ministry of India -- Syed Akbaruddin finally announced, "It was underlined that the Pakistani High Commissioner's meetings with these so-called leaders of the Hurriyat undermine the constructive diplomatic engagement initiated by Prime Minister Modi in May on his very first day in office".

    He also said, "Under present circumstances, it seems no useful purpose will be served by the Foreign Secretary visiting Islamabad, therefore the visit stands cancelled."

    How did Pakistan react to India's decision? Foreign Office of Pakistan termed India's decision as a setback to efforts by prime ministers to promote good neighbourly relations. In an official statement, Pakistan said, "It is a long-standing practice that prior to Pakistan- India talks, meetings with Kashmiri leaders are held to facilitate meaningful discussions on the issue of Kashmir."

    Britney Spears Accused Of Lip-Syncing To 'Perfume' In Not At All Shocking Turn Of Events

    Britney Spears, Las Vegas resident and person who has been accused of lip syncing lots of times, has been accused of lip-syncing. On Monday, August 18, a video emerged of a live performance of the Sia-written "Perfume" that some claim sounds like Sia's vocals playing (whilst Spears simply clutches the microphone).

    Billboard speculates that Sia's track was likely used "as an in-monitor guide when she sings ... [and] was put into the house mix, making for an embarrassing accident."

    Of course, this comes on the heels of of various lip-syncing accusations that Spears' manager, Adam Leber, confirmed in a recent interview with Medium. “To put on the show that she puts on, it’s virtually impossible to sing the entire time and do what she does,” he said. “She’s singing on every song, basically, when she has the ability to sing. There’s no way you can dance for 90 minutes straight and sing the entire time.”

    Okay? So, yes, there is some lip-syncing in Las Vegas. Maybe with that low-res Instagram video of "Perfume," or maybe not. But are we really so shocked that maybe she is not the best singer? Hello, un-Auto-tuned "Alien" / basically everything that has happened since the early 2000s. Bless her sweet heart, but the reason to love Britney is not her vocals.

    Heidi Klum Wears Dress Made Of Tiny Strings, Spins Around A Lot At The Creative Arts Emmys

    As a supermodel, she hardly needs to do much to demand attention.

    But Heidi Klum made for absolute certain that all eyes were on her by hitting the red carpet of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in an eye-catching royal blue peacock inspired dress.

    The 41-year-old America's Got Talent judge dazzled as she showed up to the Nokia Theatre in Los Angles on Saturday for the annual event.
     The shimmering garment was in fact made by a contestant on Project Runway named Sean Kelly, and Heidi was sure to thank him in a social media post about her outfit for the evening.

    It was made from a collection of what looked to be silk string fabric, forming a luminous sleek garment when they laid flat against her model body.

    But when Heidi twirled, the tassels flowed out and turned into a glamorous puff - like a peacock.

    The Killers Cover Iggy Azalea's 'Fancy' With An Added Interpretive Dance

    During their headlining gig at the UK's V Festival in Staffordshire, The Killers took a break in their set to show some love for everyone's favorite summer anthem, "Fancy." Giving Iggy Azalea's hit a piano makeover, Brandon Flowers sang through the hook, switching the lyrics "from LA to Tokyo," to the in-the-moment appropriate "from Vegas to Staffordshire." Joining Flowers in the cover was drummer Ronnie Vannucci, who provided a sweet interpretive dance, borrowing some moves from Napoleon Dynamite. Watch the video below.

    Kendra Wilkinson Appears To Confirm Cheating Rumors In Reality Show Clip

    You can't always believe everything you read, especially when it comes from the tabloids. But when a reality star is crying over the headlines in a clip from her show, it's a different story.

    "Every word that came from the tabloids. Boom ... boom ... boom ... When did he do this? While you were eight months pregnant," Kendra Wilkinson tells the camera as her eyes begin to well with tears and her voice begins to break, in a teaser for her show, "Kendra On Top." "[I] felt like I was getting shot. Our marriage is down the drain."

    Wilkinson appears to be confirming the rumors her husband Hank Baskett cheated on her while she was pregnant with their daughter -- rumors that were splashed on websites and across magazines earlier this summer.

    In fact, the 29-year-old former Playboy model even admitted she "flushed her wedding rings down the toilet," which is exactly what a source told Us Weekly back on July 1. The magazine's source claimed that Wilkinson "grew suspicious and "started snooping," and when she discovered an unexplained charge on his credit card, she "flipped out," allegedly even punching walls, throwing wedding photos into the pool, and of course, flushing her wedding rings.

    The future doesn't look good for Wilkinson and Baskett, with a source telling People magazine that the former "Girls Next Door" star is already meeting with divorce lawyers, despite the fact that the couple continue to appear together for the sake of the show.You can't always believe everything you read, especially when it comes from the tabloids. But when a reality star is crying over the headlines in a clip from her show, it's a different story.

    "Every word that came from the tabloids. Boom ... boom ... boom ... When did he do this? While you were eight months pregnant," Kendra Wilkinson tells the camera as her eyes begin to well with tears and her voice begins to break, in a teaser for her show, "Kendra On Top." "[I] felt like I was getting shot. Our marriage is down the drain."

    Wilkinson appears to be confirming the rumors her husband Hank Baskett cheated on her while she was pregnant with their daughter -- rumors that were splashed on websites and across magazines earlier this summer.

    In fact, the 29-year-old former Playboy model even admitted she "flushed her wedding rings down the toilet," which is exactly what a source told Us Weekly back on July 1. The magazine's source claimed that Wilkinson "grew suspicious and "started snooping," and when she discovered an unexplained charge on his credit card, she "flipped out," allegedly even punching walls, throwing wedding photos into the pool, and of course, flushing her wedding rings.

    The future doesn't look good for Wilkinson and Baskett, with a source telling People magazine that the former "Girls Next Door" star is already meeting with divorce lawyers, despite the fact that the couple continue to appear together for the sake of the show.

    Chelsea Handler's Naked Instagram Apparently Makes Her A Kardashian

    Handler posted a nude photo to Instagram early Thursday, Aug. 14. In the shot, the 39-year-old poses in a locker room wearing only a pair of stockings and a sultry glance.

    "I'm a Kardashian," she wrote, apparently referencing the family's sexy social media presence.

    Chelsea Handler’s frustration with the world of celebrity has been well documented. She’s even ending her successful late night chat show Chelsea Lately, in part, because of it. She recently signed a deal with Netflix, wherein she’ll host a new talk show and film four “docu-comedy specials” and release her newest stand-up comedy special Uganda Be Kidding Me Live on Friday, Oct. 10.

    “If I was going to continue working in this industry, I knew I had to do something outside the box to keep myself interested,” Handler recently said. “I wanted to sit with the cool kids at lunch so I approached Netflix to make sure they were as cool as I thought they were, and when I confirmed my suspicions, like with any other future lover, I made my move. I’m more excited than I’ve been in awhile, and the team at Netflix is the most forward thinking, alert group I’ve sat down with in ages. No offense to the Shahs Of Sunset.”

    To further express her frustration with Hollywood and especially reality stars, she posted the below photo on her Instagram account for her more than 840,000 followers — and her 5.5 million Twitter followers — with the simple caption, “I’m a Kardashian.”

    "I think if you participate in the celebrity world then you don't really have a choice but to be involved in the drama," Handler told the Daily Mail. "You end up getting so into the mix that it changes the topics of the day. You can sit around and complain about all that shit and the Kardashians all day but if you're participating in it then what can you do? It really didn't feel great doing the show and the only way to sort things out was to extricate myself from the entire situation."

    Pregnant Kourtney Kardashian Is Glowing In The Hamptons

    Kourtney Kardashian is positively glowing.

    The pregnant reality star, who is expecting her third child with partner Scott Disick, stepped out in Southampton on Thursday, Aug. 14, for lunch with Jonathan Cheban at The Driver’s Seat restaurant. She looked lovely in a striped dress and nude heels paired with a yellow purse as she made her way to her car, surrounded by a flock of fans taking photos.

    Kardashian has been in the sunny New York locale filming "Kourtney & Khloe Take the Hamptons." She confirmed her pregnancy in June.

    96 Bodies You Won't See On Billboards -- But Should

    Only 5 percent of women have the type of body we see on billboards and in TV commercials.

    The "Expose" project wants you to see the remaining 95 percent.

    Blogger and activist Jes Baker teamed up with photographer Liora K to showcase women's bodies just as they are -- unfiltered, un-Photoshopped, and totally amazing.

    "When was the last time you opened up your browser and saw a beautiful image of a body shape that looked just like yours?" Baker asked in a blog post introducing the series.

    Ninety-six women, recruited on Facebook, gathered in Tucson, Arizona to disrobe in front of total strangers in the name of body love. This is the second time Baker and K have shot images for this project.

    In a blog post about the shoot, photographer Liora K explained how she stressed the beauty and uniqueness of every participant during the process:

        What I really wanted the women to get out of our time (how ever brief) together was that they were IMPORTANT. That their bodies deserved to be seen, that what they perceive as faults are simply THEM, and are neither right nor wrong. That showing their bodies won’t innately cause them harm. That their breasts won’t cause damage to those around them, or their bellies or thighs either. That their nudity, while making them vulnerable, does not make them at fault. And that lastly, their bodies are their vehicles through life, and to treat them with kindness. I hope that came across.

    Kylie Jenner Shaves The Back Of Her Head

    Out of all the ladies in Kardashian/Jenner clan, Kylie Jenner is certainly the most experimental when it comes to hairstyles. Whether she's dying her hair blue, green, blond or chopping it off, you can always count on the 17-year-old to switch it up with her locks.
    This time, Jenner took it to a whole new level when she shaved the back of her head. The reality star posted an Instagram picture of the freshly buzzed cut on August 11: Though it seems like a pretty bold move to buzz your head, we suspect that the rest of her locks cover up the freshly missing pieces. Jenner shared another photo the following day where the missing hair went totally unnoticed:

    Honey Singh: India’s Raw Stars are better than me

    Star Plus and India's biggest youth sensation, Yo Yo Honey Singh have come together to launch this first of its kind, unconventional singing reality show, which is all set to redefine the genre. This weekly show will launch on Sunday, August 24 at 7 pm on Star Plus. Contenders from across the country with their unique singing styles will battle it out to become India's Raw Star. Yo Yo Honey Singh will be a friend, mentor and guide of the contestants. The show will be hosted by the gorgeous Gauahar Khan, who is also a huge fan of Yo Yo Honey Singh.

    "These are not just any contestants. They are already stars because of their immense talent. I feel they are all original performers, and are already better than me!" says Yo Yo Honey Singh who now begins his quest to find India's Raw Star.

    Unlike all other reality shows, where the audition process involves standing in long queues, India's Raw Star conducted the first ever digital only auditions. People from all over the world sent in their video entries, which were personally scanned by Yo Yo Honey Singh and his team. The show won't have the standard 3 member judging panel, nor a Jodi of funny hosts and definitely no contestants who only know how to rehash popular Bollywood songs. Everything about this show will surprise you!
    The look and feel of the show will be a visual treat for the viewers. They will also for the first time get to watch these performers sing original songs, which have been composed and written by them.

    For the first time ever, an Indian singing show will introduce the concept of music choreography! Star Plus has roped in international choreographer Michael Schwandtl who has worked with artistes such as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga on their performances. He will work with the contestants to visually enhance their singing performance and make it a delight for viewers to watch. The show also has the celebrated Ashish Manchanda on board who will be heading the sound team. Ashish is the only Indian sound engineer to have worked with Michael Jackson and has worked on a number of international music shows.

    Produced by Gajendra Singh's - Sai Baba Productions, India's Raw Star is on the lookout for the ultimate performing artist who can create their own inimitable style of singing, and is an all-round performer irrespective of the language of singing or the genre of music.

    Speaking about the show, Gaurav Banerjee, General Manager, Star Plus said, "Star Plus has always been at the forefront of creating benchmarks. With India's Raw Star, we are trying something unique in the singing reality show genre. The attempt is to reach out to the youth of this country and who better than the biggest youth icon, Yo Yo Honey Singh to take this ahead. This show will change the visual and music grammar of singing reality shows in India. All the 10 performers are very talented and Yo Yo Honey Singh has handpicked them so that the audiences get to see pure & raw talent."

    Lifetime to air 'The Brittany Murphy Story'

    Nearly five years after her death, Brittany Murphy’s story is getting the small-screen treatment.

    EW has confirmed that Lifetime will air The Brittany Murphy Story next month. Starring Amanda Fuller as Murphy and Sherilyn Fenn as Murphy’s mother Sharon, the film follows the young actress’ career, from her breakout role in Clueless to dealing with the attention that comes with being a part of Hollywood.
    According to the film’s description, “The relentless rumors and paparazzi coupled with Brittany’s insecurities about her appearance and desperation for approval wreaked havoc in her personal life. Through it all, Sharon remained her grounding force but her enduring love wasn’t enough to save Brittany from the dark side of life in Hollywood.”

    The Brittany Murphy Story premieres Saturday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. on Lifetime.

    FIGC, 18 ct in Council, and vice Series B

    The Federal Council of the Football Federation was convened for the 13 next Monday, August 18, at the headquarters of the Football Association, in Rome. The meeting will be chaired for the first time by the new federal president, Carlo Tavecchio. On the agenda: Election of Vice-Presidents; Communications from the President; nominations of competence; regulatory changes; order of the High Court of Justice n. 24 11/8/2014: action taken

    FIONA MAY TO THE ROLE OF ADVISER - Even Fiona May will be part of the team that the new president of the FIGC, Carlo Tavecchio, is drawing in these hours. The former athlete blue, as already anticipated by ANSA on Monday after the election of the new number one in Via Allegri, has reiterated today Tavecchio its willingness to assume the role of advisor to the integration and policies against racial discrimination. But it is not only a testimonial: May the work personally to the projects against discrimination involving schools and children.

    Australian among 11 hurt in Swiss Alps train derailment

    The severity of the woman’s injuries is not yet known and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is witholding further information until her family members have been consulted.

    “The Australian Consulate-General in Geneva is providing consular assistance to an Australian woman in relation to a railway accident in Switzerland,” DFAT said in a statement just after midday today.

    Swiss police have confirmed that five people were seriously injured while a further six sustained only slight injuries.

    One carriage slid down a steep slope, saved from a ravine only by large trees.

    The accident occurred in a deep wooded valley between Tiefencastel and Solis, southeast of Zurich in the canton (state) of Graubuenden.

    Police said about 140 people were on board at the time of the accident, about lunchtime. The landslide followed heavy rains over the past 24 hours.

    They injured included eight Swiss and two Japanese citizens as well as the Australian, police said.

    The train had set off from the ski resort of St. Moritz heading north toward Chur, Graubuenden’s administrative capital.

    Police initially said the train ran into a landslide on the track, but later revised their comments to say a landslide hit the train as it travelled between two tunnels along the side of a valley.

    One train car slid about 10 metres down the slope before being stopped by the trees.

    Air rescue helicopters helped with the recovery effort since the crash site was not near a road.

    Wheelchair user turned away from both Dart and bus

    A YOUNG wheelchair user was left stranded on her way to college after she was unable to board both a train and a bus in Dublin.

    Irish Rail has apologised after Aideen Horan (23), who is a student at UCD’s Blackrock campus, could not get on a train at Sydney Parade due to a lack of staff at the station to assist her.

    The business student left the station and tried to get a bus instead, but was left sitting at the bus stop after a driver told her the wheelchair ramp wasn’t working.

    Aideen, who has cerebral palsy, took to social media to express her anger.

    She claimed that services have deteriorated in the last few years as money troubles cause staff shortages in Dart stations.

    After her attempt to board a Dart was unsuccessful, she was left with no choice but to catch the bus.

    Aideen told the Herald that when it pulled up at the stop  the driver told her “ramp’s broken” and closed the door.

    “If a door on the bus was broken and people couldn’t get on, it wouldn’t leave the station but they’ll send one out with a broken ramp,” Aideen said. “I know we’re the minority but we still deserve to use the bus.”

    Aideen had to return home and ask her roommate to accompany her on the train.

    “I can’t rely on the goodwill of people and I shouldn’t have to,” she said, adding that last week’s incident was not a once-off.

    The Ballinasloe native said she has also lived in Germany and Spain and travelled the West Coast of America and that Dublin’s rating as an accessible city doesn’t measure up.

    “I love Dublin but for a capital city it’s not great for getting around,” she said.

    Aideen lodged a complaint with Irish Rail when she had similar problems last year.

    In their response, the company cited financial constraints as the reason for the lack of available staff to help.

    Irish Rail also directed her to a disability assistance helpline to arrange someone to help her at the station, but she said that solution wasn’t an option for her when she is on her own.

    Justin Bieber escapes jail sentence over alleged road race

    The 20-year-old pop star's plea deal with prosecutors, detailed at a court hearing, includes a 12-hour anger management course, a $50,000charitable contribution and fines. The deal allows Bieber to avoid a driving under the influence conviction.

    Singer Justin Bieber is photographed by police while in custody on January 23, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. Justin Bieber was arrested for driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving without a valid driver's license

    He was not present at the hearing before Miami-Dade County Judge William Altfield. Defence lawyer Mark Shapiro said Bieber had already given the money to a local children's charity.

    The singer was arrested early on January 23 in Miami Beach after what police described as an illegal street race between his rented Lamborghini and a Ferrari driven by R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff.

    Neither was charged with drag racing and there was little evidence they were even exceeding posted speed limits.

    Alcohol breath tests found Bieber's level below the 0.02 limit for under-age drivers, but urine tests showed the presence of marijuana and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in his system.

    Bieber was also charged with resisting arrest after a profanity-laced tirade against police officers, as well as driving on an expired license.

    The urine test itself became a battle between media companies that sought access to video of it and Bieber's lawyers arguing it was an invasion of privacy.

    Ultimately, Mr Altfield ordered the video released with sensitive portions blacked out. Other police video depicted Bieber walking unsteadily during a sobriety test.

    In July, Bieber resolved another criminal case by pleading no contest to a vandalism charge for throwing eggs at a neighbour's house in Los Angeles. In that case, he agreed to pay more than $80,000 in damages and meet a number of other conditions.

    Bieber is also charged in Toronto with assaulting a limousine driver in late December. His lawyers have said he is not guilty in that case.

    Also in Miami, Bieber is being sued by a photographer who says he was roughed up while snapping pictures of the singer outside a recording studio.

    The Canadian-born singer shot to stardom at age 15. His career was overseen by two music industry heavyweights, singer Usher and manager Scooter Braun, after initially gaining notice through YouTube videos.

    Baby Gammy: Australian authorities track down couple who 'left Down Syndrome baby with Thai surrogate' and took twin sister

    Child protection services in Australia have made contact with a couple accused of abandoning a baby with Down’s syndrome with its surrogate mother in Thailand.

    There was international outrage when it emerged the Australian couple returned from Thailand with a baby girl born to the surrogate mother, but left her twin brother, Gammy, who has Down's, behind.

    Local media has since claimed court documents released by the Supreme Court of Australia show he was jailed in 1997 for a minimum of three years for sex offences involving three girls aged under 13.

    Child protection officers had been attempting to reach the couple for the past few days. Western Australia Child Protection Minister Helen Morton told Fairfax Radio on Thursday: "We've had telephone contact with the family and we're in the process of putting other arrangements in place.

    The surrogate mother Pattharamon Chanbua claims the couple asked her to have an abortion and left Gammy behind because of his disability. The couple denied this claim to Australian media, saying they did not know Gammy existed.

    But Ms Chanbua, 21, says the father met the twins but only took his healthy twin sister.

    Are you a lucid dreamer? If you are, you’re likely to be ahead of the game when you’re awake, too

    New research finds that those who spot the logical flaws of their dream-world are likely to show greater insight when awake

    You’re in a lecture hall giving the talk of your life, when you suddenly become aware of the fact that you aren’t wearing any trousers.

    Dr Patrick Bourke, Senior Lecturer at the Lincoln School of Psychology, says: It is believed that for dreamers to become lucid while asleep, they must see past the overwhelming reality of their dream state, and recognise that they are dreaming.The same cognitive ability was found to be demonstrated while awake by a person’s ability to think in a different way when it comes to solving problems.

    Not everyone experienced lucid dreamsIn order to investigate the connection between our sleeping and waking minds, the researchers examined 68 participants between the ages of eighteen and 25, ranging from frequent lucid dreamers to those who had never experienced the awareness of being in a dream state.
    Full Article Available At: Independent
    Read the full article right now: Click to read

    SC asks Centre to give roadmap for cleaning Ganga in two weeks

    Reminding the Narendra Modi government that cleaning of Ganga was on its poll manifesto, the Supreme Court today asked why urgent steps are not being taken on it and set a two-week timeline for it to come up with a road map for making the 2500 km long river pollution free.

    A bench headed by Justice T S Thakur said the issue of cleaning Ganga is very important and it has to be put on the front burner.

    "Are you saving river Ganga? It was also there in your manifesto. Why don't you act on it?," the bench said, while referring to BJP's pre-poll promise to clean the river.

    "Is the issue on the front burner or the back burner? These issues are very important and it has to be put on front burner," it said when Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar sought more time to respond, saying that the matter has been assigned to the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation which was earlier handled by Ministry of Environment and Forest.
    The bench then adjorned the matter asking the Centre to file affidavit within two weeks giving details about what it proposes to do for cleaning the river.

    "In this matter you said there is urgency... Now there is no urgency for you. You are shuttling the issue between two ministries," the bench observed.

    The bench also said that cleaning project should be done in stretches as it cannot be undertaken at one go. It suggested that initially the government should focus to clean first 100 km of the river and then it should take the task of cleaning another part of the river.

    On the last date of hearing on August 5, the case was adjourned as the Centre sought more time to file response.

    The issue of cleaning up of river Ganga has been monitored by the apex court and several applications have been filed.

    The unchecked pollution of river Ganga has evoked sharp criticism by the apex court which has been hearing the case since 1985.

    The 2,500 km stretch of the river passes through 29 major cities, 23 small cities and 48 towns.

    A woman wins ‘Nobel Prize of math’ for the first time

    Although Albert Einstein praised another as “the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began” after her death in the ’30s, she couldn’t get a teaching job. When she finally did, the Nazis took it away because she was Jewish.

    The struggles of female mathematicians Hypatia (killed in the 5th century), Sophie Germain (1776–1831) and Emmy Noether (1882–1935) are now history. However, not until Tuesday did a woman win the Fields Medal — “the Nobel of math,” as Time magazine put it — first awarded in 1936.

    The achievement of Stanford University professor Maryam Mirzakhani is not just unprecedented, but unlikely in a field where women remain underrepresented. As few as 9 percent of tenure-track positions in math are held by women, according to a 2010 study.

    “This is a great honor. I will be happy if it encourages young female scientists and mathematicians,” Mirzakhani said in a Stanford University news release. “I am sure there will be many more women winning this kind of award in coming years.”

    Mirzakhani was born in Iran, dreaming of becoming a writer. It was a tumultuous time in Iran, she said in an interview with the Clay Mathematics Institute. The country was still embroiled in war with Iraq and “those were hard times,” she said.

    But she nonetheless remembers the first time she heard about mathematics. Her brother had a problem — and it would make her abandon her writing aspirations.

    “My older brother was the person who got me interested in science in general,” she told the Clay Mathematics Institute. “He used to tell me what he learned in school. My first memory of mathematics is probably the time that he told me about the problem of adding numbers from 1 to 100. I think he had read in a popular science journal how [German mathematician Johann Carl Friedrich] Gauss solved this problem. The solution was quite fascinating for me. That was the first time I enjoyed a beautiful solution.”

    There would be many more in her career. The war ended when she finished elementary school, and she and a friend spent time wandering in and out of bookstores in Tehran. “We couldn’t skim through the books like people usually do here in a bookstore,” she said. “So we would end up buying a lot of random books.”

    Microsoft launches 'most affordable' Lumia smartphone

    Microsoft Devices on Wednesday announced the launch of "most affordable" Lumia 530 dual SIM smartphone for Rs. 7,349 in India.

    Microsoft Devices said Lumia 530 will be available in stores at a best buy price of Rs. 7,349 starting August 14.

    The new Lumia 530 will provide a powerful entry to Windows Phone 8.1 with a Quad Core processor delivering faster and smoother user experience, among others, it said in a press release.

    This device will expand the reach of Windows Phone as it allows more people to enjoy Lumia innovations and Microsoft services similar to those offered in high-end Lumia smartphones, the release added.

    "The affordable smartphone segment is growing exponentially, driven primarily by youth who are constantly looking out for smartphones with power-packed features at affordable prices," Viral Oza, Director-Marketing, Nokia India, a subsidiary of Microsoft Mobiles Oy, said.

    Samsung pins its hopes on Galaxy Alpha's metal frame

    Samsung has launched its new Galaxy Alpha with a metal frame, in a bid to boost sales after the plastic design of its smartphones has been blamed for the company’s recent struggles.

    The Wednesday launch of the latest Galaxy smartphone comes after a difficult second quarter for Samsung. While overall smartphones sales grew by almost 27 percent, Samsung’s shipments dropped. In May, the company also appointed a new head of its design team.

    Samsung has pitched the Galaxy Alpha with its metal frame as a new start, and the design as something “entirely new” compared to the design of its existing products, which have been justifiably criticized for looking cheap irrespective of what they cost.

    However, in reality the shape of the home button still makes it look very much like a Samsung smartphone, and the plastic back has inherited the dimpled design of the Galaxy S5. For some, the changes Samsung has made aren’t nearly big enough.

    “Overall it’s a good phone but I was disappointed with the design, even with the metal frame it feels too plastic,” said Francisco Jeronimo, research director for European mobile devices at IDC.

    Samsung has also decided to make the Galaxy Alpha thin and light: it weighs just 115 grams and is 6.7 millimeters thick.

    Under the hood, the smartphone is based on Android 4.4.4 and powered by an Exynos processor with four ARM Cortex-A15 cores running at 1.8GHz and four Cortex-A7 cores running at 1.3GHz. The screen measures 4.7 inches and has a 1280 by 720 pixel resolution.

    The smartphone also has a 12-megapixel camera on the back and a 2.1-megapixel front camera. It has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of integrated storage, but no microSD card slot. The LTE connection supports download speeds up to 300Mbps, as long as there is a network that can handle it as well.

    Europe and US increase humanitarian aid as support grows for new Iraqi PM

     Pope calls on Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary general, to consider the tears and the heartfelt cries of despair of religious minorities and end the humanitarian tragedy

    David Cameron has broken off his holiday to lead the government's response to the Iraq crisis as Europe and the US stepped up their humanitarian support to the persecuted religious minorities stranded in northern Iraq.

    Mr Cameron is chairing a meeting of the government's Cobra emergency committee this afternoon after returning earlier than expected from his holiday in Portugal.

     In an interview with Sky News, Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions Secretary, said: "Why bring MPs back? The argument appears to be that when events stir the public conscience and the men in khaki are on high alert, Westminster simply must express itself.

    "Even if no one offers anything workable to be done, there are plenty of things to be said."

    European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is ready to call a special foreign ministers' meeting as early as this week and is talking to EU governments about it, a spokesman said.
    Meanwhile Justine Greening, International Development Secretary, said there had been "five successful air drops" to the region since Tuesday night.
    Thousands more poured across a bridge into Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region on Wednesday after trekking into Syria to escape, most with nothing but the clothes they wore.

    Some women carried exhausted children, weeping as they arrived to the relative safety of Iraqi Kurdistan.

    But there are still large numbers on the mountain, said 45-year-old Mahmud Bakr.

    "Many of them are elderly; they cannot walk this distance," Bakr told AFP.

    "My father Khalaf is 70 years old - he cannot make this journey. But up there, there is very little food and no medicine," he said.

    UN minority rights expert Rita Izsak has warned they face "a mass atrocity and potential genocide within days or hours".

    In a letter to Ban Ki-moon, the Pope issued a heartfelt plea to the UN secretary-general to help the stranded refugees.

    Pope Francis said: "I write to you, Mr Secretary-General, and place before you the tears, the suffering and the heartfelt cries of despair of Christians and other religious minorities of the beloved land of Iraq.

    Has the Modi govt stumbled in Delhi's power corridors?

    As an election campaigner, Narendra Modi promised sweeping market reforms to revive India's economy and put the country to work. As prime minister, he has dismayed admirers, apparently reverting to the script of the hapless government he defeated.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves to supporters during a public rally in Kargil. (AFP Photo)

    To some of the economists and business leaders who as his campaign cheerleaders dared to dream of a Thatcherite revolution, he seems not to be listening. Three months after his win, it is dawning on them that their views count for little.

    "As of now, the momentum is lost. They might still recover it, but we have lost the moment," said Bibek Debroy, a prominent economist who co-wrote a book laying out a reform agenda that the new prime minister himself launched in June.

    Debroy told Reuters that so far there had been no signs of the promised change at institutions sapped by graft and over-regulation that many Indians have grown to revile.

    Back in the heady days of the election campaign, Modi and his supporters seemed much more in tune, all lambasting the last centre-left government for years of waste and policy paralysis and building expectations of a regime of "minimum government and maximum governance" that would unshackle key sectors of the economy from the state.

    But now there is a sense that the 63-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) strongman, who made his reputation putting his home state Gujarat on a high growth path, has somehow stumbled in New Delhi.

    To be fair, the government has a five-year term to achieve Modi's goal of transforming India into an economic and military power able to withstand the rise of China on its doorstep.

    On Friday, Modi will make his first Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Old Delhi, and the expectation within his party is that he may use the occasion to announce bold changes that have so far been absent.

    According to economists at HSBC, the government has already moved with "unaccustomed alacrity" on a number of fronts, such as opening up the state railways to foreign investment and providing new guidelines for a more streamlined bureaucracy.

    Attention Ladies: You Have To Pass A Virginity Test To Get A Teaching Job In Brazil

    Apparently, having an intact hymen is now a job requirement. Women hoping to become teachers in Brazil are now being asked to undergo gynecological exams in order to verify that they are “healthy.”

    Working in the education system is a coveted job in the South American country and the Brazilian government has reportedly required this kind of testing since 2012 for women hoping to enter the field. Prospective female teachers must either have a pap smear and be screened for STDs or, if they’re under the age of 25, must provide a doctor’s note confirming they aren’t sexually active.

    While the tests have been in place for years, the Sao Paulo Public Prosecutor’s Office is now investigating why the tests are necessary for women to obtain teaching jobs and whether the invasion of privacy is legal under Brazil’s constitution. The department requires employees undergo other tests such as mammograms for women over 40 years old and prostate exams for men over 40 years old in order to ensure candidates are able to maintain their positions long-term, but the intimate nature of the tests required for females is sparking outrage amongst women’s rights groups.

    This isn’t the first time Brazil’s gotten in trouble for its “virginity tests.” The state of Bahia had the same requirement for women hoping to join the state police force, but suspended those tests last year after encountering plenty of public criticism.

    Miss Bumbum 2014 Contestants Hope To Have Brazil's Best Butt

    Most pageants may judge a woman’s beauty at face value, but not this one.

    In Brazil, the “Miss Bumbum” contest is a nationwide annual undertaking to find the best derriere. This year's 27 contestants, who represent the country’s different states, were announced last week.

    “Miss Bumbum 2014” will start in São Paulo on August 11. Brazilians have until November to vote online and determine the 15 finalists for the finale. This year the pageant will have a historic first after twins Rafaella and Graziella Fornazieri, representing Alagoas and Ácre respectively, entered the contest.
    Dai Macedo, a 25-year-old model with a 42-inch bottom, was crowned “Miss Bumbum 2013.”

    "It's a lot of work, a lot of devotion," Macedo told Agence France-Presse by way of an interpreter after winning the title. "I denied myself a lot of things. No nightclubs. No sweets. I went to the gym Saturdays and Sundays."

    The winner of the pageant receives 50,000 reais (approx. $22,000) in endorsement deals and instant celebrity in Brazil.

    No Khel Ratna this year, Arjuna Award for Ashwin

    No sportsperson has been named for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna while 15, including cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin, were on Tuesday recommended for the Arjuna Award.

    The 12-member selection committee, headed by legendary cricketer Kapil Dev, decided not to name any sportsperson out of the seven candidates for the Khel Ratna at a meeting in New Delhi.

    This is the third time no sportsperson has been named for the Khel Ratna since the inception of the country's highest sporting award in 1991.

    Besides Ashwin, the other 14 recommended for the Arjuna Award were Akhilesh Varma (archery), Tintu Luka (athletics), H N Girisha (paralympics), V Diju (badminton), Geetu Ann Jose (basketball), Jai Bhagwan (boxing), Anirban Lahiri (golf), Mamta Pujari (kabaddi), Saji Thomas (rowing), Heena Sidhu (shooting), Anaka Alankamony (squash), Tom Joseph (volleyball), Renubala Chanu (weightlifting) and Sunil Rana (wrestling).

    "The selection panel examined the seven names placed before them for the consideration of Khel Ratna but none of them were deserving enough to get the nod," a selection panel member told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

    "We discussed each and every seven names for the Khel Ratna Award. The longest discussion was in case of on golfer Jeev Milkha Singh after Kapil mentioned his name but ultimately the panel decided against his name," the member said.

    It is also learnt that Somdev Devvarman's 2011 Arjuna Award went against him while considering his name for the Khel Ratna as some panel members felt that he has not achieved much success after that year.

    The selection panel members for the Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award included the likes of Anju Bobby George and Kunjarani Devi, both  of the highest sporting honour themselves, two mediapersons and three from the government side, including Sports Authority of India Director General Jiji Thomson.
    - See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/sports-news/othersports/no-khel-ratna-this-year-arjuna-award-for-ashwin/article1-1251316.aspx#sthash.TS9DrBc2.dpuf

    Ex-boxing promoter Maloney having sex change

    Former boxing promoter Frank Maloney is undergoing a sex change, according to a newspaper interview published Sunday.

    The 61-year-old Maloney, who guided Lennox Lewis to the world heavyweight title in the 1990s, is now living as a woman by the name of Kellie, Britain's Sunday Mirror reported.

    The twice-married Maloney ended an illustrious career last October and told the paper about undergoing hormone treatment for two years in preparation for a sex change operation.

    "I was born in the wrong body and I have always known I was a woman," Maloney was quoted as saying by the Mirror. "I can't keep living in the shadows. That is why I am doing what I am today. Living with the burden any longer would have killed me.

    "What was wrong at birth is now being medically corrected. I have a female brain. I knew I was different from the minute I could compare myself to other children. I wasn't in the right body. I was jealous of girls."

    Maloney said a boxing career helped bring in enough money to walk away from the sport and live a new life as a woman.

    "It was something that I was determined to suppress and keep wrapped up because I didn't want to be seen different," Maloney said.

    "(Boxing) took up all of my time. It gave me a complete focus. It was something I thought I had to be successful in because I thought if I failed in that, where do I go?"

    Emraan Hashmi: Need a hot girl in an Emraan Hashmi film

    Pakistani actress Humaima Malick is finally making her much awaited Bollywood debut with RAJA NATWARLAL and one truly expects that the wait turns out to be worth it. While a glimpse of what she has to offer is already visible in the songs ('Tere Ho Ke Rahenge', 'Kabhi Ruhani-Kabhi Rumani') that are currently on air, those associated with the film vouch for the fact that she is all set to surprise audience in a major way.

    "She is a fantastic actor and one can pretty much see the kind of range that she brings in. If she can do a socially relevant film like BOL, she can also be a part of a potboiler like RAJA NATWARLAL. She has the potential to fit in across genres and once you see the film, you would see that as well. She is just the right mix of talent and glamour," says Emraan Hashmi who now has yet another debutante leading lady opposite him.

    In the film which is a cat-n-mouse chase between Emraan and Kay Kay Menon (who plays a businessman), Humaima has an important part to play as well in the part of a bar dancer.

    "Humaima has just added a certain amount of depth to the character, which otherwise could have been very frivolous and vulgar since she is walking the tight rope by playing a bar dancer," says Emraan, "She has added vulnerability to the character; you really love her for what she is."

    As for his on-screen interaction with Humaima, he adds with a smile, "Ours is a very sweet relationship in the film and you feel for the kind of chemistry that we bring on display. More than anything else, she is hot and in Emraan Hashmi's film, you got to have a hot girl. She fits the shoes pretty well."

    We would like to see that happening indeed once this Kunal Deshmukh directed film of a UTV production releases all over on 29th August.

    RBI governor flays nexus between 'crooked politician and corrupt businessman'

    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan on Monday lashed out at crony capitalism and crooked politicians, and called to strengthen the public services directed at the poor as India completed 67 years of independence.

    In a hard hitting speech, at the Lalit Doshi memorial lecture, the governor highlighted the need to nip corruption.

    "By killing transparency and competition, crony capitalism is harmful to free enterprise, opportunity, and economic growth. And by substituting special interests for the public interest, it is harmful to democratic expression. If there is some truth to these perceptions of crony capitalism, a natural question is why people tolerate it. Why do they vote for the venal politician who perpetuates it?" he asked.

    According to him, it is an all-too familiar vicious circle in India where the wily politician controls the system through stifling money and resources to the poor. "The poor and the under-privileged need the politician to help them get jobs and public services. The crooked politician needs the businessman to provide the funds that allow him to supply patronage to the poor and fight elections. The corrupt businessman needs the crooked politician to get public resources and contracts cheaply. And the politician needs the votes of the poor and the underprivileged. Every constituency is tied to the other in a cycle of dependence, which ensures that the status quo prevails.”

    Rajan said, “One of the greatest dangers to the growth of developing countries is the middle income trap, where crony capitalism creates oligarchies that slow down growth. If the debate during the elections is any pointer, this is a very real concern of the public in India today."

    He said it is important to avoid this trap.

    "To strengthen the independent democracy, our leaders won for us 67 years ago a key mechanism to improve these services through financial inclusion and decentralisation of information."

    He lamented that “Our provision of public goods is unfortunately biased against access by the poor. Crony socialism of the past has replaced the crony capitalism."

    South Carolina Mom Calls Cops On 15-Year-Old Son After Finding Porn

    A mother in South Carolina called sheriff's deputies on her son this week after finding porn playing on her living room TV.

    According to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office, deputies were dispatched to a residence Tuesday afternoon after a distraught mom called 911.

    "She stated that when she entered the residence, her 15-year-old son was in his bedroom," reads the police report. "[Her] daughter turned on the TV and porn was on."

    According to the report, the 40-year-old mom "immediately turned off the TV" and ushered her 2-year-old daughter out of the room, before calling the police on her son.

    When a sheriff's deputy arrived, the mother, whom HuffPost is not identifying to protect the teen's privacy, said she had several problems with her son's behavior recently.

    "[The mom] requested that a report be done to document ... her son's behavior and due to her daughter being exposed to porn," the police report reads.

    According to Lt. Kevin Bobo, the sheriff's office did not make an arrest or issue a citation.

    "I don’t know of any South Carolina law that was broken," Bobo told HuffPost on Thursday.

    However, the teen's mother did complete "a voluntary statement" detailing the incident, according to the police report.

    The mother, who was identified as a local real estate agent by The Smoking Gun, did not respond to a HuffPost request for comment Thursday.

    Pregnant Kelly Rowland Glows In Gorgeous Instagram Photo

    The 33-year-old mom-to-be smiled over her shoulder as she cradled her growing belly. Rowland captioned the photo, "#P.R." as she is currently vacationing in Puerto Rico.

    Rowland first announced her pregnancy on June 10 with a cryptic Instagram photo of baby sneakers. The Destiny's Child alum accidentally revealed that she's expecting a baby boy during an interview, in which she referred to her baby using the pronoun "his."

    "Aw, f--k it! It's a boy. It's a boy!" she said after realizing her slip up.

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