PARIS, August 13 -- Before skinny jeans ever existed, there was a brief period of time where everyone wore the same denim style: bootcut jeans.
Remember them? The softly flared jean that ruled two separate decades? First they appeared in the '70s as the less aggressive bell bottom, but its main moment appeared in the 2000s. The bootcut jean garnered a bad rap for being associated with trucker hats and Von Dutch, but was still favored by celeb A-listers like Beyoncé and Britney Spears. Eventually, though, the style faded away. As with most throwback denim trends (like mom jeans), bootcut jeans are back. The style's been making a slow comeback this year, thanks in part to Michael Kors' Fall '19 runway and brands like Re/Done producing vintage-inspired looks (recently worn by Bella Hadid), but it wasn't until we saw Everlane's new launch that we became convinced that the bootcut is about to go mainstream (again). The San Francisco-based brand premiered their new jean today, and it's making us question why we stopped wearing the style to begin with. The subtle flare is super flattering, giving the appearance of longer gams, which we always welcome. Thankfully, unlike the early aughts' super-low rises, Everlane went with a cheeky high rise. It comes in three different colors—including a dark wash with a contrast denim insert that reminds us of OG hippie jeans. Like the rest of Everlane's denim collection, this style is made in their hyper-sustainable, socially conscious factory. With these $85 jeans, you can look great while reducing your carbon footprint. What's not to love?
Yang said Versace has harmed China's sovereign and territorial integrity, according to a statement posted on Sunday (Aug 11) on the official Weibo account of Jiaxing Xingguang, the actress's studio. Versace has apologised and removed the T-shirt. Hong Kong, a former British colony, became a special administrative region of China in 1997. Versace's T-shirt is the latest in a string of faux pas by foreign companies when it comes to dealing with China.
Last year, Dolce & Gabbana's video ad that showed a Chinese model struggling to eat spaghetti and pizza with chopsticks sparked outrage and a boycott of its products. Earlier this year, Leica Camera quickly distanced itself from a promotional video that prompted a backlash against the company in China for partially focusing on the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests. The controversy around the Versace T-shirt also comes as sensitivities around China and Hong Kong have intensified in the past two months with anti-extradition protests in the city in their 10th week. This weekend, the demonstrations spilled over from city streets to a sit-in at the airport, the world's third-busiest in terms of international passengers. China also clamped down on Cathay Pacific Airways after employees of Hong Kong's dominant airline joined the protests, one of the strongest signs that Chinese authorities are losing patience with the months-long demonstrations sweeping the former British colony. Versace apologised in its own official Weibo account post for the "wrong design" that incorrectly attached country names to cities. The T-shirts were taken off its shelves on July 24 and have been "destroyed", it said. "This is our negligence and we are deeply sorry about the impact we caused," Versace said in the post, adding that it "resolutely respects China's sovereignty".
NEW YORK, August 10 -- Jeffrey Epstein, the financier indicted on sex trafficking charges last month, committed suicide at a Manhattan jail, officials said on Saturday.
Epstein hung himself and his body was found this morning at Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Manhattan at 7.30am. New York federal prosecutors last month charged Epstein, 66, with sex trafficking of girls as young as 14, and details of his behaviour have been emerging for years. A cache of previously sealed legal documents, released on Friday by a federal appeals court, provided new, disturbing details about what was going on inside Epstein’s homes and how his associates recruited young women and girls, including from a Florida high school. The documents – among the most expansive sets of materials publicly disclosed in the 13 years since Epstein was first charged with sex crimes – include depositions, police incident reports, photographs, receipts, flight logs and even a memoir written by a woman who says she was a sex-trafficking victim of Epstein and his acquaintances. The documents were filed as part of a defamation lawsuit in federal court that Ms Virginia Giuffre brought in 2015 against Ms Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s longtime companion and confidant. Ms Giuffre and Ms Maxwell settled the lawsuit shortly before the trial was to begin in 2017.
The Miami Herald and other media outlets petitioned the court to have the lawsuit documents unsealed. The request was initially denied, but an appeals court ordered them released last month, just days before Epstein was arrested on sex-trafficking charges. He had pleaded not guilty. Epstein, a financier with opulent homes, a private jet and access to elite circles, had been dogged for decades by accusations that he had paid dozens of girls for sexual acts in Florida. He previously avoided federal criminal charges in 2008 after prosecutors brokered a widely criticised deal that allowed him to plea to solicitation of prostitution from a minor and serve 13 months in jail.
LONDON, August 8 -- Fifty years ago today The Beatles were photographed crossing a leafy street in north London, creating one of the most famous album covers in music history and an image imitated by countless fans ever since.
The picture of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr striding over a zebra crossing on Abbey Road was taken outside the EMI Recording Studios where they made the 1969 album of the same name, and nearly all of their other recordings. Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan took just six shots of the group on the crossing, with the fifth used as the cover of the band’s eleventh studio album, released on Sept. 26 1969. ‘Abbey Road’, which was voted the best Beatles album by readers of Rolling Stone in 2009, was the only one of the group’s original British albums to show neither the band’s name nor a title on the cover.
AMSTERDAM, August 5 -- Rutger Hauer was a rugged Dutch actor who played Nazis, action heroes and bloodsucking vampires, but who was best known as the android outlaw in the 1982 science-fiction thriller Blade Runner.
The blond-haired, blue-eyed Hauer – who has died aged 75 – was scarcely known when he burst off the screen in the Ridley Scott-directed classic as a bioengineered android, or “replicant”, pursued by Harrison Ford. Adapted from a novel by Philip K Dick, the film was a neo-noir drama set in a dystopian future of giant corporations, overcrowded cities and environmental ruin – the year was 2019 – in which replicants are hunted down by special police known as Blade Runners. Although it opened to mixed reviews, the film is now highly regarded, with studies devoted to its examination of what it means to be human. The movie propelled the career of Hauer, whose square-jawed figure, icy stare and droll humour helped to make him a staple of action and horror films, if never quite a star. He won a Golden Globe for best supporting actor for Escape from Sobibor, a 1987 TV movie about an uprising at a Nazi death camp – he played the Jewish hero, against type – and in 2005 was a morally corrupt Catholic cardinal in Sin City and a greedy Wayne Enterprises executive in Batman Begins. Hauer also starred in the 1985 medieval fantasy Ladyhawke, alongside Matthew Broderick and Michelle Pfeiffer; played a vampire king in the 1992 movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer; and ruled a supernatural tribe in the HBO series True Blood. But he remained indelibly linked with Roy Batty, the murderous Blade Runner replicant who is programmed with a lifespan of four years. Hauer, wrote The New York Times, was “by far the most animated performer in a film intentionally populated by automatons”, and “often upstaged” Ford’s hard-boiled detective, Rick Deckard.
Rutger Oelsen Hauer was born in the Dutch town of Breukelen in 1944, and raised in nearby Amsterdam, where his parents ran an acting school. He was performing onstage by five and ran away from home at 15 to work on a freighter with the merchant marine. He began learning languages, ultimately mastering half a dozen, and after a year at sea returned to the Netherlands to work as a carpenter, gardener and electrician. Night school didn’t suit him, nor did acting school, and he dropped out to join the army. Once again, he said he felt bored and out of place. “It was another one of those so-called macho scenes – I just didn’t fit in,” he said in 1981. “So I played the sad soldier missing his mother and having problems adjusting, which was true – I was having problems adjusting, so they discharged me from the army. Then I finally was more motivated and managed to do the discipline thing.” Hauer tried drama school again and came to describe acting as “the urge to, let’s say, fulfil a certain black hole in you”. He worked in a rural touring company, performing plays by Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter, and was launched to Low Countries stardom in 1969 on the medieval television series Floris, a kind of Dutch twist on Ivanhoe. The series was directed by Paul Verhoeven, who went on to cast Hauer in movies including Turkish Delight (1973), an Oscar-nominated Dutch blockbuster, as well as Soldier of Orange (1977) and Spetters (1980), which found some arthouse success in the US.
For his first American role, Hauer played a terrorist in the 1981 Sylvester Stallone thriller Nighthawks. One month before the release of Blade Runner, he portrayed Nazi architect Albert Speer in the TV movie Inside the Third Reich. Hauer reunited with Verhoeven for the 1985 medieval drama Flesh and Blood; one year later, he played a homicidal hitchhiker in The Hitcher and a bounty hunter in Wanted: Dead or Alive, an adaptation of the Steve McQueen TV western. He also made millions of dollars as the face of an advertising campaign for Guinness beer and starred as an alcoholic homeless man in Italian director Ermanno Olmi’s The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1988), which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival.
LAS VEGAS, July 28 -- Although the insects that invaded Las Vegas this week are technically not locusts, the plague has still spawned terrifying Biblical references on social media.
‘Fear and Locusts in Las Vegas’ may have made a great headline for this article, but the winged loiterers that have flocked to the bright lights in Las Vegas are pallid-winged grasshoppers. Social media have been inundated with videos of the grasshoppers chirping around in the night skies above Las Vegas casinos. In one particularly fascinating clip, they were filmed flying above the Luxor Hotel's pyramid. “It was crazy. We didn’t even want to walk through there. Everybody was going crazy,” tourist Diana Rodriquez told a local TV station. The plague has been dubbed on social media the Great Grasshopper Invasion of 2019, while some people say it looks like something out of the Book of Exodus.
According to entomologists, wet weather in the past several months is to blame for the scale of the invasion. "It appears through history that when we have a wet winter or spring, these things build up often down below Laughlin and even into Arizona," said Jeff Knight from the Nevada Department of Agriculture. "We'll have flights about this time of the year, migrations, and they'll move northward."
He explained that such migrations are rare but not unprecedented, and that the insects don’t cause any harm to humans. The grasshoppers are expected to be gone in several weeks as they will continue to move to the north.
From early in the morning, many citizens laid flowers and bowed before giant statues of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung and former leader Kim Jong Il, the current leader's grandfather and father, on Mansu Hill in the heart of the capital. North Korean university students -- the men wearing suits and the women clad in the country's high-waisted, long-skirted traditional dresses -- gathered at squares across Pyongyang to dance and celebrate the anniversary.
The North's official Korean Central News Agency reported on Friday that the test of the "new-type tactical guided weapon" on Thursday morning was aimed at sending a "solemn" warning against South Korea's plan to carry out a joint military drill with the United States next month. North Korea has long called on the United States and the South to halt joint military exercises that Pyongyang regards as rehearsals for invasion. On June 30, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed at their meeting at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjeom that the two countries would resume stalled denuclearization talks within weeks. North Korea designates July 27 as a holiday. In the nation's capital, slogans to celebrate the "victory" in war appear in public spaces. Western countries including Japan share the view that in the war that started in 1950, the U.S.-led United Nations forces had fought alongside South Korea following the North's invasion of the South in June of that year, supported by China and the Soviet Union.
In contrast, North Korea claims that the United States waged the war in conspiracy with the South to topple the North. Ensuring the continuation of the political system led by the Kim family is a long-sought goal by Pyongyang. Hostilities ceased with an armistice agreement signed on July 27, 1953, by the U.N. Command, North Korea's military and Chinese armed forces. U.N. Security Council resolutions have banned North Korea from using ballistic missile technology, but Trump has downplayed Pyongyang's latest ballistic missile launches just as he had done after similar missile tests in May. "They haven't done nuclear testing. They really haven't tested missiles other than, you know, smaller ones," Trump said in a telephone interview with Fox News, emphasizing that he is getting along with Kim "very well." Pyongyang fired two missiles from its east coast that fell in the Sea of Japan on Thursday morning, with Seoul saying they were a new type of short-range ballistic missile that flew about 600 kilometers. At working-level talks ahead of the second Trump-Kim summit in February, the United States and North Korea, which have no diplomatic relations, were preparing to declare an end to the Korean War. But at their meeting in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, Kim and Trump fell short of a deal over the gap between Washington's insistence on denuclearization and Pyongyang's demand for economic sanctions relief. At the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit in June 2018 in Singapore, Trump promised to provide security guarantees to Pyongyang, while Kim committed to the "complete" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
SEOUL, July 27 -- Two South Koreans died and several others, including athletes attending world aquatic championships, were injured after a balcony collapsed under the weight of party-goers at a South Korean nightclub, local police said Saturday.
The balcony at the venue close to the athletes’ village in Gwangju was a mangled wreck after it gave way and dropped around five meters, as clubbers ran to the exit screaming.A 38-year-old and a 27-year-old were rushed to hospital in grave condition after the inside balcony gave away at around 2.30am on Saturday, but both died from their injuries, according to local media, reporting that 16 people sustained injuries in the accident."An internal balcony collapsed at a club in Gwangju, killing two and injuring many, though the number of those injured could increase," said Mr Song Gi-ju, a detective with the Gwangju Metropolitan Police Agency." An autopsy is planned for the two tomorrow. The two, who are locals, are not related to the swimming competition." The 16 injured comprised of 10 foreigners, of which eight are athletes participating in the championships.The eight injured athletes include three Americans, two New Zealanders, one Dutch, one Brazilian and one Italian. Police said earlier that among the Americans was a male diver and a female polo player. Two athletes were treated at Chosun University Hospital, one was treated at an unnamed Gwangju hospital, and the remainder went to the athletes village medical center for treatment for minor injuries, it said.
"This is an awful tragedy,” said Mr Christopher Ramsey, CEO of USA Water Polo. "Players from our men’s and women’s teams were celebrating the women’s world championship victory when the collapse occurred at a public club. "Our hearts go out to the victims of the crash and their families." Mr Ramsey added that all the American water polo players were "safe". Pictures showed the mangled wreckage of the balcony that collapsed under the weight of party-goers. "The site of the collapse was at the center of the club where customers were most heavily located," said the party-goer, surnamed Kim. The New Zealand water polo teams were also present, according to the New Zealand Herald. Their men’s captain told Radio Sport: "We were just dancing and then the next minute we dropped five or six meters and everyone started rushing out of the club after that. We, I guess, fell on top of the heads of other people that were beneath us." Water Polo Australia said some of its players were in the club but were unhurt.
"Water Polo Australia can confirm that members of the Australian women’s water polo team were celebrating their world championship bronze medal win at an establishment in Gwangju, South Korea last night when part of the balcony collapsed," it said a statement. Organizers Fina said it "deeply regrets the situation and sends its best wishes to any victims of this accident". "As some Championships’ participants were present at the moment of the accident, Fina is carefully monitoring the situation and will activate all measures to ensure health care and assistance is provided whenever necessary," it said in a statement. The world championships end on Sunday.
It has featured transgender women as showgirls from the beginning, and Alisa was always concerned about the mistreatment they receive from society. "Back then, our transgender showgirls were always perceived with prejudice. In a tourist town like Pattaya, our girls had to carry their staff ID card whenever they went out to protect themselves, to prevent people and the authorities from mistaking them for prostitutes. They were mistreated. And this affected us because, as the executives, we need to be able to take care of them both inside and outside the theatre," said Alisa. "I have always questioned why people have to take issue with someone's gender. And so the idea goes from just staff management to the point where we ask what we can also do about society. Miss Tiffany's Universe was then born to put transgender women in the spotlight."
After the pageant's inaugural year was successfully hosted at the theater, Alisa pushed for a live broadcast of the event in the following year to raise society's awareness about transgender women and their existence. The pageant was first broadcast nationally on ITV channel in 1999. There was no other stage for transgender women at the time. "It was a big hit, as it was something that has never happened before in the country. It really made a stamp that we were the real deal," Alisa recalled. "At the same time, it was very difficult to find sponsors because no one wanted to attach their products to people of the 'third gender'." Miss Tiffany's Universe continued to build its name in two decade-long stages. Alisa said she devoted the first 10 years of the pageant to make people understand who transgender women are, and how different they are from gay men. "And when we reached a certain point, people began to realise who we are and that our girls are gorgeous. But we also want to go beyond that simple acknowledgment. We spent the next 10 years opening doors and opportunities, to send a message that men, women and transgender people are all equally capable. It's not necessary at all to push transgender people to be only make-up artists and showgirls when they have the ability and the desire to do so many other things."
Prior to the show, we went backstage to meet some of this year's contestants. Each of them came to Miss Tiffany's with hopes and dreams, some of which were quite unexpected. Contestant No.16 Nutchuda Lumphun, 25, said she wishes to become a member of parliament to represent and develop her hometown in Nakhon Phanom province. "On my own, I'm just a small person. But now as one of the Top 30 contestants, I consider myself a success. And if I can go even further, I'll have a bigger voice to speak for my province," said Nutchuda, who works as an actress and MC. Contestant No.22 Sasipichaya Pakdee said she's also here in hopes of making her voice louder. Onstage, she publicly advocated a law that would allow transgender people to legally change their gender and title. This is her second time at the pageant.
NEW YORK, July 21 -- Investigators found an expired Austrian passport with Epstein’s picture and a different name.
Therefor Jeffrey Epstein will remain behind bars after a judge denied the accused child sex trafficker’s request for bail. US district judge Richard Berman on Thursday turned aside Epstein’s bid to be confined in his Manhattan mansion, where he had offered to pay for armed guards and wear an ankle bracelet tracking his location.