Category Archives: Lifestyle

Liliane Bettencourt

World’s richest woman dies at 94

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Liliane Bettencourt

Liliane Bettencourt

Liliane Bettencourt, the heiress to cosmetics firm L’Oreal, has died aged 94, her family has confirmed.

A statement said she had died at home “peacefully” overnight.

With an estimated 2017 net worth of 33bn euros (£30bn; $40bn), she was the world’s richest woman.

She left the company’s board in 2012 and was rarely seen in public afterwards, but remained in the news because of a high-profile exploitation casefollowing her dementia diagnosis.

In a statement, the company’s chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Agon said: “We all had a deep admiration for Liliane Bettencourt who has always watched over L’Oreal, the company and its employees, and who was very attached to its success and development.

“She personally contributed a lot to its success for very many years. A great woman of beauty has left us and we will never forget her.”

The heiress became embroiled in a public feud with her estranged daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, in 2007.

Ms Bettencourt-Meyers filed a lawsuit over concerns that her mother was being exploited by members of her entourage amid declining health.

It was revealed in 2008 that a photographer who had befriended the heiress, François-Marie Banier, was gifted items worth hundreds of millions of dollars – including paintings by Picasso and a 670-acre island in the Seychelles.

Ms Bettencourt-Meyers said she took legal action against Mr Banier after learning from her mother’s household staff that she was allegedly considering adopting him.

Ms Bettencourt and her daughter, pictured at a L’Oreal event in 2011

The mother and daughter reconciled their relationship in 2010, and a French judge ordered Ms Bettencourt be put under the guardianship of her family a year later because of her failing health.

But the family exploitation case then escalated to a political scandal after it was claimed that Ms Bettencourt’s financial manager, Patrice de Maistre, had extracted money from her to go towards former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election bid.

The alleged illegal funding was investigated, although Mr Sarkozy consistently rejected all accusations of impropriety and French prosecutors dropped all charges relating to him in 2013.

The rest of the exploitation case was eventually resolved in May 2015 when eight people, including Mr Banier, were convicted and instructed to pay millions in damages to the family.

The L’Oreal empire

Ms Bettencourt’s assets, including her holding stake in the cosmetics company, were placed in a trust controlled by her daughter.

One of her two grandchildren, Jean-Victor Meyers, succeeded her on L’Oreal’s board as vice chairman, and was named to guard her personal affairs.

Her father, Eugène Schueller, founded a hair dye company in 1909, which then turned into the L’Oreal group.

It is now the world’s largest cosmetics company.

Source: BBC

Ben Farina and Clare Moran have been together for almost six years and have a three-year-old daughter

Groom asks guests to help pay for wedding

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Ben Farina and Clare Moran have been together for almost six years and have a three-year-old daughter

Ben Farina and Clare Moran have been together for almost six years and have a three-year-old daughter

A couple unable to afford their dream wedding has asked guests to contribute up to £150 each to attend, under a “business model” devised by the groom.

Ben Farina said his wedding to Clare Moran in June will be “like an all-inclusive holiday” for those attending.

The charge includes a three-night stay at the venue in Derbyshire, which has a pool and spa.

The groom, who lives in Rotherham, denied being “tight” and insisted the idea had “gone down well” with guests.

All of their 60 adult and 20 child guests have confirmed they are attending and paid deposits.

Knockerdown Cottages

The couple are getting married at Knockerdown Cottages in Derbyshire photo: GAINSBOROUGH RETREATS

“People always pay a large amount of money to go to a wedding anyway, so why not have it paying towards the actual wedding rather than just to a business owner?” said Mr Farina, who is originally from Leicester.

“I sold it to them a bit like an all-inclusive holiday, so all the food and drinks will be incorporated in that cost.

“The venue also has a spa, an indoor swimming pool, a games room, it’s very close to local amenities, there’s a lake, so it is like a little holiday resort.”

Mr Farina said he and his partner paid £550 to go to a friend’s wedding in Greece and spent £1,200 while they were there.

He argued that a hotel stay for a wedding would normally cost £100 and guests might spend £50 at the bar.


The wedding ‘business model’

  • The wedding venue, Knockerdown Cottages in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, is charging £10,000
  • There will be 60 adult guests and guests are paying £150 each – a total of £9,000
  • Parents will pay £50 for each of the 20 children attending – a total of £1,000
  • The groom’s mother is paying £750 for a hog roast on the day of the wedding. His father is also giving £500
  • The couple are spending about £2,000 of their own money, which will cover alcohol, food, the wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses and cheap suits for the groom and best men
  • The couple are buying alcohol from a supermarket for the wedding day itself, and guests can bring along their own alcohol to drink over the weekend
  • Mr Farina’s stepfather, who works as a chef, is cooking a Sunday roast for guests the day after the wedding and a family friend has offered to be the wedding singer

Mr Farina said: “I had it all mapped out before I proposed.

“I knew her reaction would be ‘we can’t afford to get married’ so I started showing her how we could.”

Swimming pool at Knockerdown Cottages

Ben Farina said the venue is “like a little holiday resort” for their guests photo: GAINSBOROUGH RETREATS

Miss Moran said: “I never thought we would be able to have a wedding like this.

“We had spoken about marriage because we’ve got a little girl together and I always said we wouldn’t be able to afford to do it, or it would have to be a registry office wedding, not a big wedding.

“This is a brilliant way to do it and I can’t wait. He has put a lot of thought into it.”

Source: BBC

Man jailed for ‘mistakenly’ raping his girlfriend’s twin sister

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The 24-year-old man claimed it was a mistake

A Melbourne man who raped his partner’s identical twin sister has been jailed – after claiming the assault occurred because he mistook her for her sibling.

The 24-year-old was sentenced to four years imprisonment after being convicted of rape and indecent assault, the Herald Sun reports.

He had told police that his victim was a liar and had made unwanted advances towards him – but the court heard that he had told her that he had always fantasised about sex with her.

The woman had been staying with her sister and her partner after ending a relationship.

She was sleeping in the spare bedroom when the man entered to talk to her, but later pulled down her clothing and raped her, according to the Herald Sun.
But after the attack, her phoned his partner and told her that her sister had sexually assaulted him.

He repeated the claim to police and then told officers that he was confused because his partner and the victim looked identical to one another.

‘That was a bizarre thing to say given you’d been talking to [the victim] about her, and her issues, for over an hour,’ County Court judge Felicity Hampel told him.

The victim, who has become estranged from her twin since the attack, said she had attempted suicide more than a dozen times since.

‘All I have ever wanted was for him to say sorry and admit what he has done to me,’ she said.

Source MailOnline

Thousands of euros flushed down toilets

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The high-value euro notes are being withdrawn from production because of their links to criminality

Swiss prosecutors are investigating why tens of thousands of euros were flushed down toilets in Geneva.

The €500 (£440; $600) notes were cut up and found in the toilets of a branch of the bank UBS and in three nearby restaurants.

Thousands of francs have reportedly been spent on plumbing repairs to unclog the surrounding pipes.

The high-value euro notes are due to be withdrawn in 2018 over fears they facilitate illegal activities.

They will remain legal tender, but the European Central Bank will stop producing them following a European Commission inquiry into their use.

Destroying notes is not an offence in Switzerland, but local prosecutors confirmed they were looking into the circumstances around the unusual find.

“We’re trying to find out where the notes came from and whether a crime has been committed,” Vincent Derouand from the Geneva prosecutor’s office told the BBC.

“Clearly it’s very surprising,” he said.

Mr Derouand would not comment on local reports (in French) that a lawyer had been questioned in relation to their enquiries.

Source: BBC

The men who believe they are the second coming of Jesus Christ

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Near Brasília, Brazil, followers of INRI (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews) push their messiah around on a rolling pedestal

In his new book, ‘The Last Testament’, photographer Jonas Bendiksen documented men who believe they are second coming of Christ.

Over the course of two years, he travelled around the world to meet seven different men who publicly claim they are the son of God returned to earth.

He tells Dan Damon about his personal project to find out about these modern Messiahs and their followers.

How posting on Facebook could send you to jail

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Is your last post on Facebook going to land you in jail?

It might do if it ruins a criminal trial. And the government is now looking for evidence of whether new laws are needed to stop it happening.

The Attorney General, the government’s top law officer, is asking judges, police and victims’ groups for examples of where posts, chat and tweets have compromised a trial.

So how can a post on social media cause such damage? And what can you do to protect yourself? Well, it’s all down to whether you say something that would influence a jury.

Seven ways to avoid affecting a criminal case and to stay out of jail:

  1. If you have a friend on a jury, don’t message them on Facebook asking about their case – they’re not allowed to tell you.
  2. In fact don’t approach jurors at all.
  3. Don’t post messages saying you know the defendant in a case definitely did it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
  4. In fact, don’t comment on the character of defendants, victims or any witnesses.
  5. If you’re on a jury, don’t look up the history of the case.
  6. Don’t contact the defendant on Facebook to tell them you’re on their side.
  7. Ask yourself whether any of your actions on social media could influence a case. Journalists know the limits and get professional legal advice. If we’re not doing it, there’s a good reason why.

Jurors receive robust warnings to ignore reports outside of the courtroom – and judges have to trust them to impartially hear the evidence. But in our law, there still comes a point where comment can become criminal. It’s called contempt of court.

A journalist reporting a murder trial would be in serious trouble if he or she blurted out that the defendant had in fact killed before – a fact that has been kept from the jury to ensure they return a verdict uninfluenced by past events.

The judge would have to decide whether any juror who had heard the report would have been so swayed as to be incapable of assessing the evidence presented in court.

The reporter might want to think about packing their toothbrush: they could be going to prison.

Such events are very, very rare. Journalists are trained how to avoid spending time at Her Majesty’s Pleasure.

But social media is changing everything. Everyone is still subject to the same rules – but the problem is that very few people outside of the law and media have a clue about contempt of court unless they’ve been involved in a trial.

At the same time, almost everyone has got an opinion. And if you post it on social media, an awful lot of people are going to read it.

And that’s why, two years ago, a judge stopped a major murder trial.

Two teenage girls had been accused of murdering Angela Wrightson, a vulnerable woman from Hartlepool. As the July 2015 trial started at Teesside Crown Court, local and national media reported in accordance with the law – fairly and accurately.

Then Facebook posters weighed in.

Before the second day was out, there were more than 500 comments linked to news reports on the network. Some threatened the accused, others scoffed at their pleas of innocence and others attacked the court process itself.

Mr Justice Globe could not be sure that a local jury, hearing one of the most controversial cases for years, could avoid being influenced. The trial was scrapped and moved at great expense to Leeds in the hope of finding a jury who would not be exposed to the inflammatory comments on Facebook.

And six more tips to keep you out of the cells:

  1. If a defendant isn’t named in a court report, there’s a legal reason why. If you know who the defendant is – don’t name them just because you’re annoyed we haven’t.
  2. Don’t name victims in sexual offence cases – it’s against the law.
  3. Don’t name children who are on trial – that’s also illegal, other than in exceptional circumstances.
  4. If you are in court don’t take photos. Or record videos or sound.
  5. If you overhear a private conversation in a court building relevant to a case, don’t repeat it online.
  6. If you’re a juror, don’t talk about your case with family and friends.

This Wrightson case is the most dramatic example to date – but it’s not the first time that social media has disrupted the trial process. Six years ago, I reported on the first ever case of a juror being convicted for contacting a defendant on Facebook. She was jailed for eight months.

More recently, we’ve seen examples of social media posters ignoring the law that protects the identity of certain victims.

When footballer Ched Evans was charged with rape (he was found not guilty at a retrial), 10 people posted the name of his accuser online.

This is a crime because alleged victims of sexual offences are granted lifelong anonymity. All the posters were given a police caution.

So the Attorney General’s review will also look at examples like this or the breaching of other reporting restrictions.

The Attorney General’s appeal for information runs until December.

It could lead to tougher laws if the problem looks like it is really serious. Or it could also raise a more fundamental question: given other countries like the US get by without a similar law prohibiting comment during trials, is contempt of court still workable in the age of social media?

Source: BBC

Women ‘more likely to lose interest in sex than men’

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Relationships of longer than a year were a factor in women’s lack of interest in sex

Women are more than twice as likely as men to lack interest in sex when living with a partner, a study of British sexual attitudes suggests.

It found that while men and women lost passion with age, women were often left cold by longer relationships.

Overall, poor health and a lack of emotional closeness affected both men’s and women’s desire for sex.

The findings are based on the experiences of nearly 5,000 men and 6,700 women, published in BMJ Open.

The UK researchers said problems of sexual desire should be treated by looking at the whole person, rather than simply resorting to drugs.

‘Pain and misery’

Relate sex therapist Ammanda Major said losing interest in sex wasn’t necessarily abnormal, and there were many different reasons why men’s and women’s needs changed.

“For some, it is a natural and normal place to be, but for others it causes pain and misery,” she said.

In total, 15% of men and 34% of women surveyed said they had lost interest in sex for three months or more in the previous year.

For men, this lack of interest was highest at the ages of 35-44 while for women it peaked between 55 and 64.

But the researchers, from the University of Southampton and University College London, said there was no evidence that the menopause was a factor for women.

However, they did find that having young children at home was a particular turn-off for women.

Poor physical and mental health, poor communication and a lack of emotional connection during sex were the main reasons why men and women lost interest.

Five tips to rekindling interest in sex

  • Start talking about the issue early on rather than leaving it to fester – ignoring it can lead to other problems and make you feel resentful. If that doesn’t work, confront the reason why you don’t want to talk about it
  • Explore other forms of intimacy such as holding hands, talking gently to each other, cuddling and stroking rather than full-on sex
  • Feeling as if you are not being heard is a barrier to sex – so make your partner feel respected and important
  • Get some additional support by going to see a sex therapist, relationship counsellor or your GP
  • Relax – many relationships work very well when they are non-sexual, if it’s an outcome that is reached jointly

In the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles in Britain, those who found it “always easy to talk about sex” with their partner were less likely to say they lacked interest.

However, those whose partner had had sexual difficulties, and those who were less happy in their relationship, were more likely to say they had lost interest in sex at some stage, the researchers said.

Among women, the study found that “not sharing the same level of sexual interest with a partner, and not sharing the same sexual likes and dislikes” were also a factor in loss of interest in sex.

Cynthia Graham, professor of sexual and reproductive health at the University of Southampton, said the findings increased understanding of what lay behind men and women’s lack of interest in sex and how to treat it.

“This highlights the need to assess and – if necessary – treat sexual desire problems in a holistic and relationship-specific, as well as gender-specific way.”

She added that this was a problem that could not be fixed by a pill alone.

“It is important to look beyond anti-depressives,” Prof Graham said.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first-ever drug aimed at boosting female libido, called flibanserin.

Ammanda Major said: “Sex is a very personal thing, and talking about it can be embarrassing. But talking is often the best thing you can do to improve your sex life.”

Source: BBC

Women charged not to be intimidated by men in fighting for leadership positions

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Mary Posch-Oduro may want NPP’s Loyal Ladies to aspire for positions

A National Treasurer hopeful for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has charged women not to be intimidated in their quests to contest in positions that are being occupied by men.

Madam Mary Posch-Oduro said the National Treasurer position in the NPP is occupied by a male, Kwabena Abankwa Yeboah, but this will not deter her from also contesting because when it comes to monetary issues, people have more confidence in women than men.

The National Treasurer aspirant made the call on Onua FM’s Ghana Dadwene on Tuesday while speaking from her base in Germany, where she celebrated her 60th birthday on Tuesday 12th September, 2017.

She dedicated her birthday celebration to the Free SHS Policy, which is a flagship programme under the leadership of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

“I wish to dedicate this special day to President Akufo- Addo’s Free SHS Policy which the doubting Thomases, the NDC, did not believe it could be possible. In fact, as a mother and a benefactor of many children, I really appreciate the financial and psychological challenges that parents go through to educate their children and wards,” Madam Potch-Oduro observed.

She added that “this policy, just like the NHIS, LEAP and many other social interventions brought by the previous NPP government is a God sent programme and a blessing to all Ghanaians especially the poor and should be lauded rather than condemned”.

“Those who are criticizing the Free SHS Policy should rather think of ways to make it better.  They should contribute positively to the ongoing discussions to ensuring we have a solid and sustainable programme for the nation instead of downgrading such a policy,” she urged.

Madam Posch-Oduro added: “The NDC should know Ghanaians are wide awake now and therefore, the propaganda will not wash. When the previous NPP Government wanted to introduce the NHIS policy, the NDC said it was not possible. However, the visionary NPP went ahead and implemented it successfully”.

The NPP woman said “whilst in opposition, the same NDC said they would introduce one-time premium for NHIS subscribers which meant that all subscribers would only pay once for free healthcare under the NHIS programme, but what we all saw was an almost collapsed NHIS  under the 8-years of mismanaged economy”.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|Onua 95.1FM||Ghana

Hurricane Marriage hits Media General: Two weddings in two weeks at TV3

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Esi Benewaa (L) was at her colleague’s wedding ahead of hers

While Hurricane Irma keeps sweeping through the states of the USA, Hurricane Marriage is also speedily sweeping through Media General, especially TV3.

For two consecutive weeks, staff of the media group have had their Saturdays booked as the weddings would not stop.

On the 2nd of September 2017, Assignment Editor and one of TV3’s senior journalists, Thomas Adotei Pappoe, tied the knot with his heart throb Jessica Aklerh Dosoo, a former staff of TV3.

The two law students trended on social media with their beautiful and well-organised white-themed wedding, held at the Arakan Mess at Burma Camp.

White-adorned MG colleagues graced the ceremony

Exactly a week after this blissful event, Esi Benewah Nyame, one of the finest presenters at TV3, also walked down the aisle with her honey pie, Dr. Kwabena Nyarko Otoo, of the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Some colleagues at Esi’s pink-themed wedding

The pink-themed wedding was well attended by friends, relatives and well wishers of the two.

There are a lot more of the TV3 staff who are not married. Whose wedding is next? Till there’s another wedding, we wish the two couples the best of marriage, and may they find the favour that comes with marriage.

By Grace Asare

The writer works with 3FM, a subsidiary radio station of Media General

10 things men wish women would stop doing (and embrace their natural beauty instead)

By | Lifestyle | One Comment

Women seem to notice everything that is “wrong” with another woman. They can easily spot any makeup disaster, ugly hairdo or a tacky outfit. But what about men? Will those who understand nothing of fashion or feminine things also notice when a woman is ill-groomed?

The answer is yes. Most men can tell when a woman is trying too hard. Here are 10 things they dislike the most:

1. Extreme hairstyles

A woman with hair full of volumizing product and variously placed bobby pins walks into the room. You think she will attract the attention of all the men at the party. Will it attract attention? Yes, but not for the reasons you want. Most men prefer long, loose, soft and silky hair, not sticky hairspray and hard gels.

2. Masked faces

Foundation is used to hide imperfections, fine lines and blemishes. However, it should be applied as a thin, even layer, and in a shade that blends right in to your skin. Overuse can make it look like you came out with a layer of clay on your face. When applied correctly, no one should be able to tell that you are hiding imperfections on your face. Remember, less is always more.

3. Sticky eyelashes

You know that effect when a woman uses too much mascara — her eyelashes all stick together and smear black with each blink. Nothing about that look is attractive. Use good quality mascara that dries quickly and does not smudge. After applying, use an eyelash brush to remove any excess off of your lashes. Men love beautiful and expressive eyes, free of black clumps.

4. Too much glitter

If you are not a professional makeup artist, it is probably best to stick to the matte shadows. They adhere better and are less likely to concentrate in the crease of your eyelid.

5. Yellow teeth and bad breath

Yellow teeth and bad breath are not attractive to anyone. If you struggle in this area, you should realize that the source of the problem is probably found in poor hygiene. Or maybe you need to cut back on the coffee, black tea or red wine, or lose the cigarettes. Whatever it is, address the source of your problem, and try adding whitening toothpaste and dental floss to brighten your smile. Lozenges or sugar-free breath sprays also help a lot.

6. Lack of body care

Poorly manicured nails, hairy legs and unshaven armpits are major turn-offs for men. Poor personal hygiene cannot be hidden by makeup and nice clothes.

7. Dry or oily skin

Yes, men notice. The sight of a dried heel, oily face or peeling skin is a warning to “back off.” Don’t expect to turn him on with cracked lips.

8. Primping in public

Men are not interested in knowing your tricks to become more attractive. Put on your makeup at home and don’t fuss over it in public.

9. Dark lips

Lipstick is a great tool to make your lips more beautiful and defined. But beware, if misused, the lip liner pencil can become your enemy. When going out for dinner, use a lipstick and liner close to the color of your lips. Dark lipstick colors have the awful tendency to smudge onto your teeth while you are talking or eating — not a pleasant sight for those who are watching. Also, remember that dark lip liner paired with lighter lipstick leaves an aged appearance.

10. Perfume overload

Excesses are always a bad idea. Remember, the more expensive the perfume, the less you should use. The cheaper the perfume, the less you should use. So try to put a drop only in certain points such as the neck, behind the ears and wrists. A little bit of a good perfume is plenty.


Source: FamilyShare