mercredi 19 septembre 2007

Prince illumine le défilé de Matthew Williamson

LONDRES- Malgré ses trente ans de carrière, Prince n’a pas pris une ride, comme il l’a prouvé mercredi en ouverture du défilé de la collection été 2008 du couturier britannique Matthew Williamson, au cinquième jour de la London Fashion Week.
L’ex-roi de la pop –titre qu’il a toujours disputé à Michaël Jackson- a offert une entrée en fanfare en entonnant un titre pour marquer le début du défilé. Accompagné de musiciens jouant en direct, Prince a cependant préféré assurer en optant pour une version manifestement chantée en playback.
Lorsque la star a rejoint son banc sous les hourras de la foule, les projecteurs ont enfin pu se tourner vers les modèles présentés par le couturier britannique, Matthew Williamson. De retour à Londres après cinq ans d’absence, Williamson, dont la mode est le symbole du style "hippie chic", est aussi directeur de la création de la maison de luxe italienne Emilio Pucci depuis 2005.
« Je fais des défilés à New York depuis cinq ans maintenant et les affaires tournent plutôt bien là-bas. Cela fait vraiment plaisir de revenir dans la ville où j’habite et où se trouve mon atelier. Tout cela est assez excitant… », confiait-il peu avant son show.
Sur le podium, modèles courts et longs aux couleurs vives se succèdent. Le couturier est resté fidèle à son goût du détail en alternant habilement tissus imprimés et brodés. Tuniques, robes, hauts et pantalons aux motifs d’inspiration amérindienne défilent au son d’une musique électronique ultra-contemporaine.
Cette année, Matthew Williamson fête les dix ans de sa compagnie, créée en février 1997. A partir du 17 octobre, une exposition lui est consacrée au Design Museum de Londres. Le couturier de 36 ans possède sa propre boutique dans la capitale britannique et 150 points de vente à travers le monde.

lundi 17 septembre 2007

DNA test for breast cancer: to test or not to test?

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women today. Although the awareness has increased, it is still the second leading cause of cancer death in women.
According to figures from the World Health organisation, 1.2 million women were expected to be diagnosed with it in 2006. Some have decided to wage a war against the disease and opted for a possible cancer-free future with DNA testing.
For a few years, the DNA test has been able to reveal the percentage of risk for a woman of effectively developing a cancer. In the US, the number of women being tested grows every year. Those who have been tested call themselves "previvors".
Breast and ovarian cancers often run through several generations in a family. They originate in a defective copy of a gene known as BRCA1 - for British Cancer gene 1. Those bearing the mutant gene have 60 to 90% to develop breast cancer. Now, for women, the question is: does DNA testing ease or complicate life?
Some might say that having the chance of knowing the risk, how could one not do something about it? Indeed, DNA forecasts offer the first clues for how to deal with a serious disease that may never arise and gives an indication of the family turmoil that nearly always does.
However, the genetic testing on BRAC1 and BRCA2 is complex, as there are hundreds of possible mutations to look for.
Today, the NYT tells the story of 33 year-old Deborah Lindner, who discovers that she is more than likely to have breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. Her DNA having been tested in search of the BRCA gene, she decided to go for the most radical option: a mastectomy. The procedure is said to reduce risks by 90 per cent.
All in all, physicians and scientists do not recommend DNA testing for low-risk individuals for several reasons. First, only 5 to 10% of all breast and ovarian cancers originate in a mutation of those genes. Then, there is not a 100% reliable means of preventing the disease once the mutation is discovered. Various cases show evidence that the disease can always come back.
Yet for women being at a high hereditary risk on their family history, genetic testing can provide important information.
If they are tested positive, they face several options, plastic surgery being only one among others. They could either follow more agressive screenings, take preventive medications, or even alter their lifestyle to reduce risks. Ultimately, the decision remains highly personal.

vendredi 14 septembre 2007

Didier Drogba: the next Pavarotti?

French Chelsea striker Didier Drogba announced he would take part in a charity concert for African HIV and AIDS victim. But the football player from Ivory Coast will not attend the "Football reaching out for Africa concert" like any other celebrity: he is expected to sing for the event.
Though much more renowned for his talent on the pitch than in an the opera house, Didier Drogba has accepted to sing a tune. He has yet to reveal which. "It's going to be something for charity. It's going to be fantastic because the organisation - "Support for Africa" - will help us build facilities in Africa and this is something unbelievable," the player told Sky Sports channel.
Boney M, the famous 70s diso band, is expected to join the gig, held on 23 September at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The late classical singer Luciano Pavarotti sang on a number of occasions there.
A source from the venue told the Sun: "Didier Drogba has definitely agreed to sing. It shows real guts that he's prepared to do it." Desperate to regain a Premier League crown with Chelsea after losing it to Manchester United last year, Drogba might even want to try Queen's "We are the champions".

jeudi 13 septembre 2007

New outbreak in foot-and-mouth disease reaches the Queen

LONDON - The new outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease in South-East England will prevent Queen Elizabeth II from riding horses and walking her dogs, the Daily Telegraph reports on Thursday.
The 6-mile surveillance zone imposed around the Egham farm, where the disease sprang out, includes the Queen's property of Windsor Great Park. The 5,000 acre estate, which holds a deer park, and two farms with 400 cattle, 2,000 pigs and 6,000 hens, has been closed to the public for security reasons.
"All horse-riding will not be permitted in the park until further notice and all dogs must be kept on leads in the areas where public access is still allowed. That is the rule and it will apply to everyone," a spokesman from the Crown estate said.
Princes Harry and William are often seen riding horses within the Guards Polo Club, which has also been closed.
The Queen is currently staying at her residence in Balmoral (Scotland) until early October. But the ban is bound to remain for a longer period of time.

Led Zeppelin to reunite for tribute concert

LONDON - Rock legend Led Zeppelin will reform for a tribute concert to Ahmet Ertegun, co-founder of Atlantic Records, it was announced on Wednesday.
Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, the remaining members of the world-famous rock band, will play again together some 26 years after they last appeared in Europe - except for two shaky reunions including the Live Aid in 1985.
The show, scheduled on November 26th in the O2 arena in London, will pay tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, who signed Led Zeppelin in 1968 without even listening to their sound.
"The one band that hadn't come together in recent years was Led Zeppelin, so I eventually wrote quite an emotional letter to all the members. Let's do one show, and let's do it for Ahmet," Harvey Goldsmith, who also worked with the Pink Floyd, the Who, and Eric Clapton, said at a press conference.
"This may be beyond any dream I've ever had," he added, before annoucing that the late drummer John Bonham, who died in 1980, would be replaced by his own son, Jason Bonham.
Although the band lately rehearsed in a secret place in London, they did not show up for the press conference.
Ahmet Ertegun, a well-known figure in the United States, signed Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, or even Abba in the US.
In the UK, together with Led Zeppelin, his most famous partners were the Rolling Stones. He died in 2006, aged 77.
There was no talk of a larger Led Zeppelin tour after the show, nor of any recording or brodcasting of the concert. "I have a feeling this is going to be the largest demand ever for a show. Maybe that will spur something within the band," Harvey Goldsmith claimed.
Other artists, like Pete Townshend, from the Who, the Foreigner, and Scottish singer Paolo Nutini, who became friend with Ertegun a few months before he died, are expected to perform.

mercredi 12 septembre 2007

The pill protects against cancer

LONDON - Taking the contraceptive pill for a restricted period of time prevents women from developing cancer, a study published by the "British Medical Journal" reveals.
Contrary to what was first thought, the cancer risk decreases for women using oral contraception for up to 8 years. However, the study run by the Royal College of General Practitioners of Aberdeen (Scotland) shows a relative increase in risk for women taking the pill for more than 8 years.
The results demonstrate a reduction in ovarian, womb and bowel cancers, but a small increase in cervical cancer. "They are not huge reductions but there are 100 million women taking oral contraceptives in the world and that adds up to an important public health benefit," Professor Philip Hannaford of Aberdeen University said.
The pill, introduced in the 1960s, is taken by approximately 3 million women in the UK, and 300 million women are thought to have used oral contraception over the past 40 years.
Dr Clifford Kay, a Manchester GP, started collecting data for the study in 1968. The sample counted 46,000 women aged 29, half of them already taking the pill before the study.
Evidence suggest that the protective effect of the pill lasts for at least 15 years after stopping.

mardi 11 septembre 2007

Maddie: une enquete folle, folle, folle

Depuis quatre mois, la Grande-Bretagne se reveille chaque jour ou preque avec un nouveau rebondissement dans l'enquete sur la disparition de Madeleine MacCann. Cette fillette de quatre ans a echappe a la vigilance de ses parents le 3 mai dernier au Portugal, ou la famille avait loue une residence pour les vacances. Les circonstances de la disparition restent encore tres floues et l'enquete a longtemps semble pietiner.
La machine mediatique, quant a elle, s'est mise en branle immediatement. Une dizaine de jours apres l'annonce, le footballeur David Beckham -personnage on ne peut plus mediatique- apparaissait dans un spot publicitaire pour reclamer la liberation de celle que tout le monde connait desormais sous le surnom de "Maddie".
Tout au long de l'ete, la deferlante meditiatique a continue, relegant l'enquete au second plan. Mais depuis le week-end dernier, celle-ci s'est considerablement acceleree. Les projecteurs se sont de nouveau tournes vers le couple MacCann, desormais consideres comme suspects par la police portugaise.
L'ADN de Maddie a ete retrouve dans la voiture que ses parents ont loue 25 jours apres sa disparition. Peu a peu, l'etau se resserre, et la pression mediatique devient insupportable.
Ultime rebondissement en date: selon le quotidien britannique "The Independent", le policier portugais charge de l'enquete a ete accuse d'agression envers une femme dont la fille avait disparu dans les memes circonstances que Maddie.
Entre toutes ces hypotheses, la presse britannique ne sait plus ou donner de la tete: le couple MacCann est-il victime d'un acharnement judiciaire ou est-il a ce point manipulateur qu'il a reussi a retourner l'opinion en sa faveur? Toujours est-il qu'apres 131 jours d'une enquete aux retournements invraisemblables, la fillette reste introuvable.

lundi 10 septembre 2007

Agreement found between news agencies and World Cup organisers

LONDON - International news agencies and World cup organisers finally reached an agreement over the video coverage of rugby matches on the internet. The AFP, Reuters and the Associated Press obtained the right to fully cover the event during a meeting in Paris on Monday. They were protesting against the restriction that the Rugby World Cup Limited had imposed on video coverage throughout the competition. Only three minutes of the event per day could then be broadcast by news agencies.
According to Pierre Louette, the AFP chairman, this decision "reconciles the interests of the organisers and sponsors without ignoring the needs and rights of the media."
The three news agencies, that provide the entire world with immediate results and comments, had conducted a two-day boycott which ended up just before the first match, opposing France, the host country, and Argentina, on Friday. They had then been allowed to publish 200 photographs per match.