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Why did Naomi Watts agree to play Princess Diana in the new film?

 According to the actress, because the project was going to happen whether she accepted the role or not

Calling the role "high, high, high risk," but also a "very, very important piece of our history," Watts told Peter Travers that the Princess Diana movie was like a fast-moving train she felt compelled to jump aboard.

"It was a story that was going to be told, and I just felt like she was a fascinating woman," Watts said. "It's delicate because her boys are still around, obviously. Very much so. But, like I said, it was going to be told. Maybe it was more recent than people [expected]."

Originally called "Caught in Flight," "Diana" focuses on Diana's long-time love affair with Dr. Hasnat Kahn (Naveen Andrews), the "love of her life." According to Variety,the film will show "how finding true personal happiness for the first time allowed [Princess Di] to evolve into a major international campaigner and humanitarian." Jessica Chastain was initially rumored for the role, but Watts took her place.

"The filmmakers came to me and it's a good script and it's very scary and I kind of wanted to say no but I couldn't," Watts said last year.

To play Diana, the actress dived into research materials headlong. "I read all the biographies. I looked at every piece of footage. I spent every single day, for weeks, listening to that Martin Bashir interview in my iPod," Watts told Travers. "I didn't want to get involved in a performance of mimicry, but I did want to be as exact as possible with the Bashir interview because everybody knows and remembers that well."

Whether or not Watts nailed the role won't be known until "Diana" hits theaters later this year, but co-star Andrews is already an avowed fan.

"I don't think anyone else could have done it," the former "Lost" star told the Press Association. "There's no one else."

 

B.N

 

Campaign to rid New Zealand of cats angers animal-lovers

 The controversial call to rid the country of cats is being led by Gareth Morgan, a prominent businessman, who tells owners on his newly created Cats to Go website: "The fact is that your furry friend is actually the friendly neighbourhood serial killer."

Under a picture of a kitten with red devil's horns, the website asserts "cats are the only true sadists of the animal world" and that they "torture their victims slowly and without mercy".

It goes on: "Every year, hundreds of millions of birds are murdered by cats.

"Some cats will kill over a thousand birds each year."

Although the campaign stops short of calling for cats to be euthanised, it points out that that is an option.

It also calls on cat owners to keep their pet inside 24 hours a day and, when the time comes, "ensure this is the last cat you ever own".

Cats should also be neutered and have a bell hung around their necks to warn birds they are nearby, it says.

The website asks for signatures on a petition calling for cats to be registered and micro-chipped like dogs.

"Imagine a New Zealand teeming with native wildlife, penguins on the beach, kiwis roaming about in your garden," Mr Morgan says.

"Imagine hearing birdsong in our cities."

New Zealand is renowned for its unique birdlife, most of which flourished for thousands of years without predators.

So benign was the natural environment that species such as the kiwi, the national symbol, became flightless.

But Mr Morgan's campaign was bound to spark an angry backlash in a country that owns more cats per capita than any other, with nearly half of all households having at least one.

Cat lovers were quick to take to the internet and talkback radio to air their protests.

Some have even set up anti-Gareth Morgan web pages.

More than 70 per cent of visitors to the Cats to Go website expressed disapproval of the proposals, while on news websites, comments such as "Mess with my cat and I'll mess with you" summed up the mood.

Bob Kerridge, executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, rounded on Mr Morgan, saying: "Butt out of our lives.

"Don't deprive us of the beautiful relationship that a cat can provide, individually and as a family.

"People consider cats to be a member of the family.

"So he's trying to, quite frankly, take away the civil liberties we all have, to choose who we want in our home."

B.N

 

 

Campaign to rid New Zealand of cats angers animal-lovers

By Paul Chapman in Wellington

The controversial call to rid the country of cats is being led by Gareth Morgan, a prominent businessman, who tells owners on his newly created Cats to Go website: "The fact is that your furry friend is actually the friendly neighbourhood serial killer."

Under a picture of a kitten with red devil's horns, the website asserts "cats are the only true sadists of the animal world" and that they "torture their victims slowly and without mercy".

It goes on: "Every year, hundreds of millions of birds are murdered by cats.

"Some cats will kill over a thousand birds each year."

Although the campaign stops short of calling for cats to be euthanised, it points out that that is an option.

It also calls on cat owners to keep their pet inside 24 hours a day and, when the time comes, "ensure this is the last cat you ever own".

Cats should also be neutered and have a bell hung around their necks to warn birds they are nearby, it says.

The website asks for signatures on a petition calling for cats to be registered and micro-chipped like dogs.

"Imagine a New Zealand teeming with native wildlife, penguins on the beach, kiwis roaming about in your garden," Mr Morgan says.

"Imagine hearing birdsong in our cities."

New Zealand is renowned for its unique birdlife, most of which flourished for thousands of years without predators.

So benign was the natural environment that species such as the kiwi, the national symbol, became flightless.

But Mr Morgan's campaign was bound to spark an angry backlash in a country that owns more cats per capita than any other, with nearly half of all households having at least one.

Cat lovers were quick to take to the internet and talkback radio to air their protests.

Some have even set up anti-Gareth Morgan web pages.

More than 70 per cent of visitors to the Cats to Go website expressed disapproval of the proposals, while on news websites, comments such as "Mess with my cat and I'll mess with you" summed up the mood.

Bob Kerridge, executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, rounded on Mr Morgan, saying: "Butt out of our lives.

"Don't deprive us of the beautiful relationship that a cat can provide, individually and as a family.

"People consider cats to be a member of the family.

"So he's trying to, quite frankly, take away the civil liberties we all have, to choose who we want in our home."

B.N

 

Miss Asia 2012 crowned

 

Amy Chen, a 26-year-old student with a Masters Degree who represented Hong Kong and Macau emerged the winner of Miss Asia 2012.

According to Jayne Stars, on 21 January, Amy Chen has been announced as the winner of Hong Kong's 2012 Miss Asia pageant, hosted by ATV, defeating favourites Annie Qi, who was named first runner-up, and 21-year-old Svetlana Gulakova from India, who finished as second runner-up. She also defeated the night's most popular contestant, 19-year-old Vika Kong from Jiangxi, China.

In addition, Amy also won the Asian Charisma award. When asked about her upcoming plans, she revealed that she plans to join the entertainment industry, but her top priority is to practice her Cantonese, as she is a Hong Kong immigrant from Taiwan.

About her triumph over Vika, Amy said, "She is very young, but I did not lose confidence on my part, because I have tried my best."

A total of 18 contestants competed for the crown that night, with former ATV artist and 2010's Mr. Hong Kong winner, William Chak, serving as one of the judges for the pageant.

M.W

China is world's top smartphone producer

Beijing Bulletin-China last year shipped 224 million smartphones, making the country the world's largest smartphone producer, according to official data released Wednesday.

In 2012, over 730,000 Chinese apps were launched on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad platforms, Xinhua cited the China Academy of Telecommunication Research as saying.

Beijing-based research firm Analysys International has predicted that China's mobile internet market will reach 429.6 billion yuan ($68 billion) in 2015.

In 2012, China added 50.9 million internet users, bringing the total to 564 million, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.

With mobile phones becoming the primary channel for using the internet in China, the number of mobile internet users increased 18 percent to 420 million.

B.N