Sunday, 23 March 2014

Michelle Obama sees Great Wall, Chinese educators

Beijing (AFP) - Visiting US first lady Michelle Obama toured China's Great Wall on Sunday, after her arrival at the US embassy in Beijing earlier in the day sparked a minor security alert. She and her daughters strolled along a popular section of the wall and rode down a toboggan on a smoggy afternoon, as part of a week-long visit focused on education and "soft issues" rather than politics. Vendors at the tourist site northeast of the capital appeared to have removed T-shirts which are normally on sale showing President Obama in a Mao hat, with one merchant revealing a boxful of the souvenirs stored in the back of her tent. Earlier in the day, as Obama's motorcade arrived at the US embassy for a roundtable with educators, parents and students, two people just outside the premises began shouting. Police and men in gray sweatshirts and pants hurried to subdue them, and it was unclear why they were yelling. Since arriving in the capital on Thursday night, Obama -- whose mother is also accompanying her -- has also played table tennis with students and toured the Forbidden City with her counterpart Peng Liyuan. She briefly trod political ground in a speech Saturday morning at Peking University's Stanford Centre, calling for greater freedoms while refraining from naming China.
"As my husband has said, we respect the uniqueness of other cultures and societies," Obama told a crowd of about 200 students, most of them from the United States. "But when it comes to expressing yourself freely, and worshipping as you choose, and having open access to information -- we believe those are universal rights that are the birthright of every person on this planet," she said. "We believe that all people deserve the opportunity to fulfil their highest potential, as I was able to do in the United States." But the majority of Obama's speech was devoted to encouraging American students to study in China. View gallery US First Lady Michelle Obama (C) and US Ambassador … US First Lady Michelle Obama (C) and US Ambassador to China Max Baucus (L) talk with a group of stud … She touted the "100,000 Strong" initiative announced by President Obama during his 2009 visit to Beijing. The programme aims to raise the number and the socioeconomic diversity of Americans studying in China. After her speech, Obama held a virtual roundtable with a group of American students, then took a tour with her family of the Summer Palace, a former imperial getaway not far from Peking University. In opening remarks at Sunday's discussion in the embassy, she stressed that "education is an important focus for me". "It's personal, because I wouldn't be where I am today without my parents investing and pushing me to get a good education," she said. The participants discussed standardised testing, opportunities to go to college and the treatment of ethnic minorities in the education system. Obama will also visit the northern city of Xian, site of the famous ancient Terracotta Warriors, and Chengdu in the southwest, home to the country's iconic pandas.

Angelina Jolie and Stella McCartney Designing 'Maleficent' Gear

Angelina Jolie thinks it's inevitable – your kid is going to want to dress like her. The mother of six, 38, has teamed up with Stella McCartney and Disney to create a line of children's clothing inspired by her upcoming movie, "Maleficent."
The capsule collection, called Maleficent by Stella McCartney Kids, features eight designs for boys and girls, including the two outfits shown below, as well as t-shirts, princess dresses, sandals, and sneakers, ranging in price from $75 to $185. Yep, some of these ensembles cost $185. How do you like them apples? (Oh, wait, wrong fairytale.
The creations will be available for purchase at the end of April in Disney stores, online, and at Stella McCartney stories worldwide. In true Jolie fashion, some of the proceeds will go to a good cause; 10 percent of the sales in Stella McCartney stores and online will benefit SOS Children's Villages, which provides homes for children in need. "Maleficent," a live action reimagining of "Sleeping Beauty," stars Jolie as the title character and Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora. The film arrives in theaters on May 30.

'Homeland' Star James Rebhorn Dead From Skin Cancer

"Homeland" star James Rebhorn died at his home in New Jersey Friday night ... after a long battle with skin cancer ... TMZ has learned. Rebhorn's wife Rebecca tells us the actor was diagnosed with melanoma in 1992 ... and he's been getting treatments ever since. We're told his condition drastically worsened recently and he began receiving hospice care at his New Jersey home. Rebhorn has been acting for 5 decades ... he was awesome as Claire Danes' perpetually worried Dad in "Homeland." He also appeared in "Meet the Parents," "Scent of a Woman," and "Independence Day." He was also the lawyer who put Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine behind bars in the "Seinfeld" series finale. His wife Rebecca says James insisted on working despite his condition ... right through his theater performance in January. He was 65.

Jay Z Fires Back at Drake on Jay Electronica Remix of “We Made It”

ay Z appears on the new Jay Electronica remix of Soulja Boy’s “We Made It,” and uses the track to address some recent criticism from Drake. Drake, who put out his own “We Made It” remix in December, lightly jabbed Jay Z in Rolling Stone last month, complaining about the number of “art references” in the older rapper’s lyrics. In his remix, Jay Z fires back, “Sorry Mr. Drizzy for so much art talk / Silly me, rapping about sh*t that I really bought / While these rappers rap about guns, they ain’t shot / And a bunch of other silly sh*t they ain’t got.”

Juan Pablo’s Daughter Hangs With Nikki Ferrell, Naya Rivera Flaunts Cleavage: See The Week’s Best Celebrity Twitpics!

t was another week filled with celebs sharing their personal photos on social media! Nikki Ferrell spent time with Juan Pablo’s daughter Camila, Naya Rivera flaunted her ample cleavage, and Selena Gomez had a “Ladies Night” with Zooey Deschanel.

Hackney shooting: Boy accused of Shereka Fab-Ann Marsh murder

A teenage boy has been charged with murdering a 15-year-old girl who was shot in the neck in east London. The 15-year-old boy is accused of killing Shereka Fab-Ann Marsh in Hackney on Saturday, Scotland Yard said. She died at a property in Eastway, Hackney Wick, shortly before 16:00 GMT. The accused boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is due to appear at Thames Magistrates' Court later. Two other boys who had been arrested in connection with the shooting have been released without charge, police said.

Eminem Smashes George Strait's 44.89 Million Mark to Become Second Best-Selling Male Artist All-Time

The Marshall Mathers LP 2” sold an additional 13,000 copies for the week ending March 16, according to Nielsen SoundScan, pushing it beyond two million total sales. The milestone continues the rapper's trend of moving more than two million units of each of his albums, per Billboard. Eminem simultaneously hit another mark that should garner some bragging rights. His total sales across all albums now sits at 44.91 million, overtaking country musician George Strait's 44.89 million to become the second-best-selling male artist. However, it is important to note that Strait's career predates the inception of SoundScan data. Garth Books is the top selling artist of the era, regardless of gender. Among all artists in that nearly 23-year span, Eminem is in sixth place, dropping Strait to No. 7. Brooks is on top with 69.52 million. The Beatles are second (65.55 million) and Metallica third (54.26 million), while Mariah Carey sits in fourth (54.24 million) and Celine Dion (52.21 million) rounds out the top five.

Disney Channel Star Bella Thorne Set for New ‘Amityville’ Horror Movie.

Disney Channel sensation Bella Thorne is set to star in the new “Amityville” horror movie for Dimension Films and Blumhouse Productions, multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap. Leigh will play a single mother who moves her three kids into the “Amityville” house, which of course has a very dark history. Dimension had planned on reigniting the popular horror franchise using a found-footage angle but that idea has been dropped, as the format appears to have fallen out of favor with discerning genre fans. “Amityville” remains scheduled for release on Jan. 2, 2015. The original “Amityville Horror” was released in 1979 and received a high-profile remake in 2005 that starred Ryan Reynolds and Chloe Moretz. The franchise is based on Jay Anson's book “The Amityville Horror: A True Story.”

Ciara Celebrates Her Baby Shower With Kim Kardashian and LaLa Anthony

The expectant mother enjoyed a star-studded baby shower at a private home in Los Angeles on Saturday surrounded by besties Kim Kardashian and LaLa Anthony (who acted as one of three co-hosts), along with a beaming Kris Jenner.