News flash: Carla has a past!
To the surprise of, well, no one, a tell-all book is set for release on the colourful life that model and singer Carla Bruni embraced before settling down as the third wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. It’s the tale of “a fast-living adventuress with an obsession with wealth and fame,” a source at Paris publisher Flammarion told the Telegraph. The source promises “explosive revelations” about secret lovers and plastic surgery, and the paper suggests the first couple tremble in anticipation of what author Besma Lahouri has uncovered. Well, maybe. Meanwhile, Bruni’s support for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman whose sentence to death by stoning may be upgraded to hanging, won criticism from an Iranian newspaper—and Catherine Deneuve, who called it “counterproductive,” given her past.
A songbird prepares the nest
Céline Dion has been out of the spotlight since announcing she and husband René Angélil were expecting twin boys this November after years of fertility treatments. This led to tabloid rumours the pregnancy was in trouble and that she’d been rushed to hospital. In fact, 42-year-old Dion has gained 33 lb. and credits acupuncture for a smooth pregnancy, a representative told People. She’ll take it easy for the last trimester, on doctor’s orders, before launching a show next year at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The cover of Montreal-based 7 Jours magazine features Dion, uncharacteristically scrubbed free of makeup, clutching her hefty baby bump along with hubby, the family dog and their soon-to-be outnumbered nine-year-old son René-Charles.
He dodged death. The Dodge didn’t.
Thomas Magill’s anguished decision to end it all by jumping from the 38th floor of a New York City apartment proved fatal, but only to a red Dodge Charger that broke his fall. The 22-year-old is recovering after having rods inserted into his legs and undergoing several operations, after slamming feet-first through the rear windshield and onto the back seat. Construction worker Guy McCormack, who borrowed his wife’s beloved car that day, credits its rosary beads with playing a role in Magill’s survival. His wife, Maria McCormack, has a less spiritual view. “I want to meet [him] and say, Why? Why my car out of all the cars in the city?”
World’s youngest quitter
To the relief of thousands of Internet viewers and an embarrassed Indonesian government, two-year-old Ardi Rizal has reportedly shaken his cigarette addiction. Ardi, known the world over as the “Smoking Baby,” left his village in South Sumatra in July for help with his two-pack-a-day habit. “He received psychosocial therapy for one month during which therapists kept him busy with activities,” says Arist Merdeka Sirait, secretary general for child protection. “We diverted his addiction from cigarettes to playing.”
Putting the hack in hacking
The fallout from Fleet Street’s phone-hacking scandal continues, years after the first police raid in 2003 uncovered a private investigator’s scheme to pinch confidential cellphone data and voice mail from royalty and the rich and famous. The information proved embarrassing fodder for the tabloid press, especially the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World. In all, hundreds of journalists paid investigators to pry secrets from thousands of phones. Among those jailed was Clive Goodman, the former royal editor for the World. With trials and inquiries now over, the Guardian and the New York Times asked last week why Scotland Yard only prosecuted those hacking phones of the royal family, and why those employed by the well-connected Murdoch got off so lightly. Among the unscathed is Andy Coulson, the World’s former editor, now director of communications for Prime Minister David Cameron. Coulson, who says he was “unaware” of the hacking, is under fire from Labour MPs.
So clean I can see my toes!
Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly waited for warm weather and a clean bill from the health department, but did plunge into Halifax Harbour last week. The swim off Black Rock Beach fulfilled a promise to show the harbour is safe after the city’s long-awaited $54-million sewage treatment plant malfunctioned last year, fouling the water and setting back a $333-million cleanup. “The system is working, the water is clean,” said Kelly. The mayor sported a farmer’s tan and yellow-and-black plaid swim shorts, setting standards for political integrity, if not fashion.
Making bankers look even worse
Thilo Sarrazin’s views on Muslims and Jews may cost him his job on the board of the Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, but they’ve already propelled his new book, Germany Is Destroying Itself, onto the bestseller list. Germany is being undermined by the unwillingness and inability of its four million Muslims to integrate, he says. He also believes in a “Jewish gene.” His views are condemned by most politicians except the far-right National Democratic Party, but getting rid of him may prove to be difficult, given the legal protections extended to bankers in that country.
Your life goes here
In a mix of art and geekery, Canadian rockers Arcade Fire have reinvented the music video. American director Chris Milk used the horsepower of Google Maps and Street View to create a personal experience for online viewers. Type in your childhood home address and you’ll find your memories melding with Win Butler’s as he sings We Used to Wait, an ode to the lost art of letter-writing, from their hit CD The Suburbs. Their combo of technology and nostalgia, found at thewildernessdowntown.com, has gone viral. As part of the experience, you’re asked to write “a letter of advice to the younger you.” If only you’d known to invest in Google.
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