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  • Speaking to the 47%: The $105,000 champagne tower featured at Obama fundraiser hosted by Jay-Z and Beyonce

    President Barack Obama attended a fundraiser at Jay-Z's 40/40 Club in Manhattan that featured a champagne tower of 350 bottles worth $105,000 - more than twice the median household income of an American family.

    The tower of $300-a-bottle Armand de Brignac Brut Gold, known as 'Ace of Spades' because of its label, is a permanent fixture at the club.

    'It’s floor-to-ceiling gold bottles in the entire space,' a 40/40 representative told the New York Post. 'It’s beautiful—breathtaking. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in.'

    The median income for an American family was $51,413 in 2011.

    $105,000: The champagne tower at the Tower 40/40 Club that costs twice the average income of a US family

    Some 100 people attended the $40,000-per-person event, which took place after Obama spoke to 200 donors at a $12,500-per-family reception at the Waldorf Astoria. The total campaign cash haul for the day was $6 million.

    At the 40/40 Club, the singer Beyonce introduced Obama and said that she and her husband Jay-Z 'believe in his vision'.

    Obama said: 'Let me just begin by saying to Jay and Bey, thank you so much for your friendship. We are so grateful. Michelle and Malia and Sasha are mad at me because they are not here.

    'That doesn’t usually happen. Usually they’re like, we’re glad you’re going–we don’t need to go. But every time they get a chance to see these two they are thrilled, partly because they are just both so generous, particularly to my kids. And Malia and Sasha just love both of them.'

    Classy: Obama told the guests, including Solange Knowles, seen arriving for the event (right), that he couldn't think of a better role model for his girls than Beyonce, because of her 'poise' (pictured  with Jay Z last month)


    40/40 Club: Obama also compared himself to Jay-Z at the event, saying he knows'what my life is like. We both have daughters, and our wives are more popular than we are.'

    Obama stated that Beyonce “couldn’t be a better role model for our daughters because she carries herself with such class and poise'.

    He then compared himself to Jay-Z. 'Jay-Z now knows what my life is like. We both have daughters, and our wives are more popular than we are. So we’ve got a little bond there. It’s hard, but it’s okay.'

    Like him, Beyonce and Jay-Z came from humble backgrounds, he said. 'And the good thing about so many of us here–and I know, I speak for Jay and Bey–is we remember what it’s like not having anything, and we know people who were just as talented as us that didn’t get the same break, the same chance.

        'You have to be President for ALL America': Obama responds to Romney 'writing off big chunks of the country' on Letterman before partying with Jay-Z and Beyoncé
        Revealed, Obama's 'secret tape': Mitt Romney seizes on 1998 recording of future president saying 'he likes redistribution' of wealth

    'We remember some of our parents or grandparents who came here as immigrants and got a little bit of help along the way to go to that school or be able to start that first business.'

    Armand de Brignac first gained widespread attention in the video for Jay-Z's song 'Show Me What You Got' in 2006. It showed Jay-Z being presented with the distinctive gold bottle in a silver briefcase.


    Celebrity circles: The President also appeared on Letterman last night where he said he stands up for 'ALL America' following the 47% furor over Romney's secret tapes

    David Beckham and George Clooney, a prominent Obama supporter, are among those said to enjoy Armand de Brignac.

    The name Armand de Brignac is taken from the hero of a 1950s romantic novel. It is  produced in the village of Chigny Les Roses in Champagne-Ardennes.

    Both Obama and his opponent Mitt Romney are frantically holding fundraisers even in the final stretch of the campaign to raise to avoid being swamped by attacks ads.

    And it was at a $50,000-a-head May fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida, some months ago that Romney made his controversial comments about his job being to not worry about the 47 per cent of Americans who do not pay income tax.

    Obama accused Mitt Romney of 'writing off big chunks of the country' and rebuked his rival's claims that nearly half of all Americans believe they are 'victims' entitled to sponge off the government.

    On the Late Show with David Letterman, Obama added that anyone seeking the presidency ought to be for 'everyone, not just for some' and talked about the hard work of single mothers and auto workers.

    Twenty20 World Cup 2012 schedule and results

    The Twenty20 cricket World Cup is being hosted by Sri Lanka from September 18 to October 7. Twelve nations are participating in the tournament. Here is the schedule for matches in the qualifying group stage.

    GROUP STAGE

    Match 1: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe

    Group C

    Tuesday, September 18

    Result: Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe by 82 runs. Read story here

    Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

    Match 2: Australia v Ireland

    Group B

    Result:: Australia beat Ireland by seven wickets. Read match report here

    3:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 19

    R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

    Match 3: Afghanistan v India

    Group A

    7:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 19

    R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

    Match 4: South Africa v Zimbabwe

    Group C

    7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 20

    Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

    Match 5: Bangladesh v New Zealand

    Group D

    3:30 p.m. Friday, September 21

    Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele

    Match 6: Afghanistan v England

    Group A

    7:30 p.m. Friday, September 21

    R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

    Match 7: Sri Lanka v South Africa

    Group C

    3:30 p.m. Saturday, September 22

    Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

    Match 8: Australia v West Indies

    Group B

    7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 22

    R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

    Match 9: New Zealand v Pakistan

    Group D

    3:30 p.m. Sunday, September 23

    Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele

    Match 10: England v India

    Group A

    7:30 p.m. Sunday, September 23

    R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

    Match 11: Ireland v West Indies \

    Group B

    7:30 p.m. Monday, September 24

    R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

    Match 12: Bangladesh v Pakistan

    Group D

    7:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 25

    Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele

    The group stage winners battle it out in the Super Eights starting September 27.

    See pictures of Team India in action at the T20 World Cup 2012 here

    See pictures of players in action at the T20 World Cup 2012 here

    (Source: Official T20 World Cup website www.iccworldtwenty20.com)

    Jay Cutler leaves us questioning reality

    We learned everything we needed to know about Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler on Tuesday. During an appearance on ESPN 1000 , Cutler was asked whether there was one throw he wished he could take back from his disastrous performance in Thursday's 23-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Cutler's response revealed a capacity for compartmentalizing that should be the envy of anyone with aspirations for emotional and social detachment.

    After pausing for a moment, Cutler chose a pass that receiver Brandon Marshall dropped in the end zone early in the third quarter as the Bears trailed 13-0.

    "I wish I had that one back," Cutler said. "The picks? You can have those. The one I would take back was the one to Brandon off his hands. ... I put it up probably just a half-count quicker than I wanted to. Felt a little bit of pressure and put it up. 'B' will tell you it was a catchable ball. But I could have made it 10 times easier for him, just putting it up a little to the left and holding him up a little bit. He crushed the guy on his route, and that could have made it easier on him. ... That could have changed the complexion of the game."

    The picks? You can have those.

    Here you have a quarterback who turned in one of the worst performances in the past 10 years of NFL play, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, glossing over his four interceptions as if they were merely a function of the game flow. Instead, Cutler suggested his biggest regret was not fine-tuning a still-catchable touchdown pass that would have left the Bears facing a second-half deficit.

    Tuesday was Cutler's first public appearance since a postgame interview Thursday night, and to me it confirmed a remarkable world view that aligns independently from ordinary human nature. Cutler can toss aside a four-interception, seven-sack performance and criticize a nuanced improvement to a play on which he had already done his job. He can suggest that "your opinion does not matter to us" when it's negative or critical, as he did Tuesday, but claim "it really meant a lot" when several fans approached him over the weekend to offer encouragement.

    And, perhaps most amazing of all, Cutler can insist with an apparently straight face that he did not lose his composure at any point during what sure appeared to be a wild, but not atypical performance. That assessment apparently covered his sideline confrontation with left tackle J'Marcus Webb. Indeed, Cutler repeatedly blamed the media for escalating the issue and making it "bigger than all of us expected," adding, "That's what you have to expect from the media."

    Cutler also added, "Oh, I think I had my composure. I think I had my composure the whole game. Under the circumstances, we moved the ball well at times. Obviously some mistakes on my part, and other guys derailed us at times. Penalties, interceptions, stuff like that. But I had my composure. I knew what I was doing. We were calling the plays, and everything was going smoothly."

    If what we saw Thursday night was composed, I would hate to see Cutler when he is upset.

    I Want to Live Longer, So I'm Having More Sex

    The Web is having a conversation about senior sex, and it's a mixed bag of disgust, defensiveness, zealotry, and hope.

    For the young, sex over 60 is comedy tinged with embarrassment. They view with alarm parents' and grandparents' forays into the erotic, and speak of it in cartoon terms.

    For senior sex activists, sex over 60 is cause for slash and burn advocacy that must leave no impediment to the doggone truth that senior sex is hot, hot, hot.

    For merchandisers, pitching sex toys to seniors has paid off handsomely, and there is a growing enthusiasm for senior porn (the wildly popular Japanese porn star Shigeo Tokuda is 76).

    For seniors themselves, it's a tug-of-war between can-do and eee--eww. Passion remains undiminished for healthy men and women, but it can be tempered by poor body image, strength and flexibility issues, absent partners, and the way our culture has framed sex as athletic performance.

    We need to consolidate the senior sex discussion in a hurry. Dr. Aubrey De Grey, a biomedical gerontologist, has famously said that the person who will live to be 150 has already been born. I hope this means that soon no one will dare to think that a 60th birthday is a cutoff date for sexual endeavor. Who wants to live their last 90 years without sex?

    The idea persists that vibrant, energetic sex is only for the young -- what could be left for us older folks but fond memories and chaste hugs? Most egregious of the end-of-sex myths is the belief that erectile dysfunction routinely descends upon men in late middle age. Whether or not this myth is encouraged by companies eager to sell drugs and devices, and by stand-up comics with an excess of ED jokes, the fact is that too many 50-plus men believe it, and too many waste time and libido waiting sullenly for the day when the equipment fizzles and dies, like a fuse in a dimmer switch.

    In the days when I traveled long miles with a three-man documentary film crew, we filled the time with chatter about whatever came to mind. One winter afternoon, as we drove into the sunset, the cameraman let us know he'd soon mark his fiftieth birthday. "At this age a man loses his sexual powers," he said gloomily, without a trace of irony.

    I waited for manly and dismissive guffaws from the other two men, who were also in their mid-to-late forties. Instead there were grim nods and grunts of acceptance. I was stunned at the moment and later quite sad. With their brains working against them (the brain being the body's largest sex organ) all three of these seemingly vigorous guys were in for some profoundly unnecessary disappointment.

    Dr. Mehmet Oz, who calls the penis "the beautiful dipstick of health," and Dr. Michael Roizen, author of The RealAge Makeover, are working to overcome age-bound impotence theories. They are among many in the medical and scientific communities who proclaim that sex is central to well-being at any age. They support studies that show a relationship between satisfying sex and longevity. "The more sex a person has, the less aging he or she will undergo," Dr. Roizen promises.

    Both doctors are cautious about forming simple truths from the still-small body of sex-longevity research, but they are convinced that high quality orgasms -- and plenty of them -- help us live longer. People who engage in robust sexual activity seem less likely to succumb to age-related diseases, they say.

    Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar Now Headlines UFC 153

    Yes, you did read the headline correctly. After featherweight champ Jose Aldo forced the planet’s premier mixed martial arts promotion to scramble for a new UFC 153 main event, middleweight king Anderson Silva (Pictured) has agreed to serve as a last-minute substitute to fight Stephan Bonnar in a light heavyweight affair.

    Our partners at USAToday reported the October 13th shootout Wednesday evening.

    Silva previously professed his 2012 campaign was a wrap after beating Chael Sonnen in July. However, “The Spider” offered up his services to salvage UFC 151 when Jon Jones declined a last-second scrap with Sonnen to save the September 1st event, but it was too late.

    The baddest middleweight in bare feet was willing to compete in a 205-pound bout because he wasn’t in a position to make middleweight at the time. It seems like that will once again be the case.

    Of Silva’s 15 Octagon forays, two have been at light heavyweight. He easily knocked out James Irvin (2008) and Forrest Griffin (2009), respectively, in those outings.

    After running the reverse trifecta, Bonnar has bounced back to rattle off three consecutive victories. The former “The Ultimate Fighter 1” finalist was last seen taking a decision win over Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 139.

    HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil hosts the fiesta.

    Here is the show’s revised lineup:

        Preliminary Card:

        (Facebook 6:45PM ET/3:45PM PT)

        Cristiano Marcello vs. Reza Madadi

        Luiz Cane vs. Chris Camozzi

        Sergio Moraes vs. Renee Forte

        (FX 8PM/5PM)

        Joey Gambino vs. Diego Brandao

        Francisco Trinaldo vs. Gleison Tibau

        Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Geronimo dos Santos

        Rony “Jason” Bezerra vs. Sam Sicilia

        Main Card:

        (Pay-Per-View 10PM ET/7PM PT)

        Demian Maia vs. Rick Story

        Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado

        Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva

        Dave Herman vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

        Glover Teixeira vs. Fabio Maldonado

        Stephan Bonnar vs. Anderson Silva

    The late Dennis Hopper leaves $2.85 million to 9-year-old daughter

    Most of us will never accumulate millions in our bank accounts. But in a real-life "Richie Rich" story, the daughter of late actor Dennis Hopper has done just that – and she’s only 9 years old. Galen Grier Hopper has inherited a trust fund of $2.25 million cash and $600,000 worth of property from the "Easy Rider" actor's estate, according to TMZ, which cites legal documents. The millions are a fraction of Hopper's fortune that included properties in California, New Mexico, and North Carolina, plus an extensive art collection featuring works by artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, and Frank Gehry. The legal docs reportedly stipulate that Galen's mother and Hopper's estranged wife Victoria Duffy have absolutely no access to the money.

    Hopper was still legally married to Duffy when he died from prostate cancer at 74 in May 2010. At the time, the couple were embroiled in a divorce that was bitter even by Hollywood standards. The couple reportedly met in the early '90s when she was a waitress at a restaurant he frequented, and married in 1996. But they fought often, and stopped having sex several years before he filed for divorce in January 2010, according to The Daily Beast. (He was already living in the Beverly Hills Hotel at the time.) Later, he filed for several restraining orders against Duffy, who is in her mid-40s. When a judge ordered Duffy out of Hopper's Venice, California, home, she filed a court document arguing that she needed to stay because she expected to be completely cut out of Hopper's will. She reportedly complained that the divorce settlement didn't provide enough money to take care of the couple's only child, Galen. Looks like she doesn't have to worry about that now!


    Though Galen made out well when it comes to her father's will, she was often the victim found in the middle of the heated battle between her parents. She didn't attend her father's funeral, for example, because Duffy was uninvited. Hopper's ex reportedly received a letter from the actor's attorney hours before the Taos, New Mexico, service that stated Duffy was not welcome. It acknowledged that Duffy had stated Galen would not be allowed to attend without her, but requested that Galen be allowed to attend anyway. She was not.

    Elizabeth Hurley's Bikini Line For Young Girls Called 'Disturbing' And 'Inappropriate'

    Actress Elizabeth Hurley calls her line of swimwear for girls "fun" on her website. But parents along with a child protection charity in the U.K. have had a different reaction -- they're accusing Hurley and her brand of sexualizing young girls.

    "It is very disturbing to see some inappropriate items in this swimwear range," Claude Knight, the director of the charity Kidscape told the Daily Mail.

    Knight points out pieces like the "Mini Cha Cha Bikini," an animal-print two-piece for girls under 8 and the "Collete Bikini," a suit that is held together by a gold ring and is meant specifically "for girls [ages 8-13] who want to look grown up." According to the company's website, "This bikini looks fab with our cheetah ruffled skirt."

    Siobhan Freegard, founder of the community Netmums told the Daily Mail that she knows "a number of mothers who are concerned about the sexualization of their children and would be horrified by their daughters dressing like mini-strippers."

    And, their concerns are validated by science. A recent study found that girls as young as 6 think of themselves as sex objects and want to be considered sexy. In an earlier study, Psychologists named clothing as a factor that encourages these youngsters to objectify themselves. This research was particularly disturbing given that "almost a third of girls' clothing for sale at 15 major retailers [had] sexualizing characteristics."

    Knight told Sky News that Hurley shouldn't take all of the blame now. Rather, the fashion industry should stop making clothes for kids that are so adult-like.

    Jen M.L., a mother of two who blogs at "People I Want To Punch In The Throat" agrees on that front. In a HuffPost blog, Jen says she is "horrified" by clothing selections when she takes her 4-year-old daughter shopping. She recounts a specific Easter shopping trip when "there were several dresses that looked like they should come with a complimentary pole and hooker heels!" But, Jen doesn't blame the industry entirely. She also writes that consumers -- parents specifically -- should stop buying and supporting the production of such items. "If we'd just stop buying this misogynistic whore-wear maybe companies would stop trying to sell it to us."

    With regard to Hurley's line, a spokesperson told the Daily Mail that the collection has sold "extremely well." He added, "Most of our customers are repeat customers who report that their kids adore the designs."

    Susan Sarandon On Mitt Romney Video: 'I'm So Entertained'

    Democratic activist and Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon finds the undercover video of Mitt Romney quite entertaining, but says it doesn't reveal anything new about the GOP candidate's character.

    Sarandon sat down with Joy Behar, another vocal liberal, on her show "Joy Behar: Say Anything!" to talk about the recently leaked undercover Romney video. In the recording, taken during a fundraiser in Boca Raton earlier this year, Romney commented on the "47 percent" who supposedly don't pay taxes, are "dependent on the government" and "believe they are victims." The video went viral online after it was posted on Mother Jones.

    "I'm so entertained," Sarandon told Behar. "I'm very happy that he's so entertaining. I don't know if it's going to cost him. I think a lot of people agree with him in seeing things that way. I guess it'll mostly effect the swing voters. And I think it's an interesting few days on the campaign trail to see how he deals with that. But I don't think that was really new information."

    "Well no, but it just made him look like Scrooge," Behar, whose show is broadcast on Al Gore's Current TV, interjected. "It made him look more Scrooge-like."

    "But I think that's what he is," Sarandon responded. "But I don't think — listening to, you know, how he's dealing, where he wants to spend his money, that he was very interested in education or the elderly and I mean a lot of the people he's talking about pay taxes so I don't know what he's thinking."

    Sarandon continued, "But a lot of people that also get Medicare pay taxes. All these programs aren't just for people that are goofing off. They're for people that we should be taking care of and I hope that I'm taking care of with Medicare and everything else."

    The 65-year-old actress is an active Democrat, who has donated to the campaigns of Barack Obama, John Edwards and John Kerry. She has spoken at numerous political rallies, including the recent Madison, Wis., protest of Governor Scott Walker. She's also a big fan of Occupy Wall Street.

    Sarandon is not the only media star to comment on the Romney video. The leaked footage has been in the headlines since Monday and made it to the late-night circuit on Tuesday.

    David Letterman welcomed President Obama to "The Late Show" and asked him about his interpretation of Romney's remarks.

    "Well, I don't know what he was referring to," Obama responded. "When I won in 2008, 47% voted for John McCain, they didn't vote for me. And what I said on Election Night was, 'Even though you didn't vote for me, I hear your voice. And I'm going to work as hard as I can to be your president.'"

    "One of the things I learned as president is you represent the entire country," Obama continued. "My expectation is, if you want to be president, you have to work for everybody, not just for some."

    Wake up, Kate; photogs are always watching

     Roland Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for the TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin."

    (CNN) -- When basketball legend Michael Jordan talked to the press after a Chicago Bulls or Washington Wizards game, fans never got to see the superstar with sweat dripping from his brow or a towel wrapped around his waist after emerging from the shower.

    Consciously aware of his image, Jordan would dress in a side room and not in the main locker room with the other players. So when he emerged, he was suited and booted. Some players would walk around naked, oblivious to the strangers standing there; others had towel wraps on, even dressing with members of the media standing not 10 feet away.
    Roland Martin
    Roland Martin

    Maybe Jordan should put in a call to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and the wife of Prince William, and give her a lesson or two on what you need to do in this media-obsessed world -- now that photos of her breasts have been published by a French newspaper.

    Brits are aghast at the breach of protocol, and Buckingham Palace is threatening legal action. Good luck with that. They are better off sitting Kate down with the same person who had to counsel Prince Harry after his butt-naked romp in a Las Vegas suite.

    Royals to sue over nude photos

    Look, I'm not the least bit insensitive to the shock and horror of the young married couple seeing magazine photos of themselves sunbathing on private property in France. Yet my mama and daddy always taught me that if you don't want someone to see your private parts, then don't show them in public for someone to see.
    UK royals want criminal case over pics
    Photos: William and Kate visit Far East Photos: William and Kate visit Far East

    Over decades now, we have become accustomed to the crazed antics of the paparazzi invading the personal space of celebrities. Pantyless shots of Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton getting out of cars? Check. No-talent celebrities like Kim Kardashian starring in sex tapes to pave the way to the land of riches? Check. Cell phone videos of celebs doing whatever to whomever they want in nightclubs? Check.

    Our culture not only has accepted it, we revel in it. Seriously, do you think all of those celebrity magazines and websites with photos of stars walking to the store to get coffee lose money? No. We live in the age of voyeurism, and the long lenses of the paparazzi satisfy our insatiable desire for the garbage.

    "Mindless entertainment" is what I've heard folks call it. Just mindless is how I'll classify it.

    Irish tabloid publishes topless royal photos

    It would be great if celebs could be themselves. And it's terrible that folks can't drop the pretenses and have dinner with friends without thinking someone has a phone video camera on them and is capturing private remarks. But that world left us long ago, and it's not coming back. As long as photographers can reap six-figure pay days, and websites can rack up millions of page views and charge advertisers more money, every boob shot of a celeb will be shown.

    Call it despicable and degrading, but it also creates a situation that requires common sense. Kate, unless you know for sure that no one else's prying eyes -- or camera -- will see you, don't sunbathe naked.

    All of the screaming and righteous indignation won't do a darn thing to stop the next celeb or royal family member who chooses to show up in his or her birthday suit. Blame the photographer all day (and it's a job I would never want). But if she never takes the top off outside, we're not having this discussion.

    Free speech or incitement? French mag runs cartoons of Prophet Mohammed

     After a week of deadly, international protests against an anti-Islam film, a French satirical magazine is fueling the debate between freedom of expression and offensive provocation.

    The magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the Prophet Mohammed in an issue that hit newsstands Wednesday.

    Magazine director Stephane Charbonnier said his staff is "not really fueling the fire," but rather using its freedom of expression "to comment (on) the news in a satirical way."

    "It happens that the news this week is Mohammed and this lousy film, so we are drawing cartoons about this subject," Charbonnier told CNN affiliate BFM-TV on Wednesday. "It's more turning in derision this grotesque film than to make fun of Mohammed."

    The "lousy film" he's referring to is "Innocence of Muslims," an amateurish, 14-minute video that mocks the Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer, child molester and killer. The video drew international attention last week and spawned heated protests

    Any depiction of Islam's prophet is considered blasphemy by many Muslims.

    Charlie Hebdo journalist Laurent Leger said the magazine's cartoons show Muslim men and Muslim extremists, but the magazine does not explicitly state that the cartoons are depictions of the Prophet Mohammed.

    Rather, he said, the cartoons are open to interpretation.

    "The aim is to laugh. We want to laugh at the extremists -- every extremist. They can be Muslim, Jewish, Catholic. Everyone can be religious, but extremist thoughts and acts we cannot accept," Leger said.

    "In France, we always have the right to write and draw. And if some people are not happy with this, they can sue us and we can defend ourselves. That's democracy. You don't throw bombs, you discuss, you debate. But you don't act violently. We have to stand and resist pressure from extremism."

    The cartoons are already drawing strong condemnation by the French Muslim community.

    Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the French Council of Muslim Faith, described a feeling of "indignation against this new Islamophobic act" to BFM-TV.

    He said the cartoons are "insulting for the prophet of Islam," and described their publication as a "new provocation."

    French authorities have already taken precautionary measures, with police vehicles parked outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo late Tuesday.

    The offices were the scene of an attack last November, when they were burned on the day the magazine was due to publish an issue with a cover appearing to make fun of Islamic law.

    The cover featured a bearded and turbaned cartoon figure of the Prophet Mohammed saying, "100 lashes if you're not dying of laughter."

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