Pregnant Shakira launches on line baby shower

NEW YORK - Colombian pop singer Shakira and Spanish footballer Gerard Pique are asking fans to donate gifts like mosquito nets and vaccines for the world's poorest children in an online baby shower to mark the couple's first child.

The 35-year-old pop star, who is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, with her FC Barcelona center back boyfriend has said they had launched a "virtual living room" for purchase of life-saving items which will be distributed to children and communities in some of the poorest parts of the world.

The singer, who has not announced her due date but has posted recent photographs indicating the baby is likely due later in January.

"To celebrate the arrival of our first child, we hope that, in his name, other less privileged children in the world can have their basic needs covered through gifts and donations," the couple said in an announcing the "Inspired Gifts" program.

Fans and supporters can enter the virtual shower and pay for items ranging from a $5 mosquito net, which protects babies from malaria or $10 for polio vaccines for 17 children, to the top-priced $110-item-therapeutic food, which is a peanut-based paste that can save an acutely malnourished child.

Shakira has also been working on her eighth studio album and will fill in for Christina Aguilera as one of the regular coaches for the next season of the US singing competition "The Voice."

Shakira first publicly confirmed her relationship with Pique in March 2011 .

Source:China Daily



Cut-price vase urns me £20m

China-AN antique Chinese vase has sold for £20million — after a deal to flog it for £43million broke down.

Ex-solicitor Tony Johnson, 56, inherited the 18th century vase — initially valued at £1million — from an aunt in 2010.

A Chinese tycoon agreed the £43million deal but sparked a two-year row as he refused to pay £8MILLION auction fees on top.

Tony, of Ventnor, Isle of Wight — who owned it with mum Gene, in her 80s — has now sold the 16ins porcelain vase to a new Far East buyer.

Expert Ivan Macquisten said: “At a Beijing show, a similar vase was listed in the top 12 items in Chinese art history. It wasn’t as good as this.”


Picasso Tableau to Highlight Modern Art Sale

Sotheby’s London forthcoming Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on Tuesday 5th February 2013 will be led by a monumental 1932 portrait of Picasso’s ‘golden muse’ Marie-Therese Walter (est. 25-35£ million).

Featuring an exceptional group of works from eminent collections, the sale will also offer Claude Monet’s monumental Nympheas avec reflets de HautesHerbes of 1914-17 (est. £12-18 million) from the artist’s most celebrated series of works, and an outstanding example of Miro’s important post-war paintings, Femme revant de l’evasion of 1945 (est. £8-12 million) that comes to auction for the first time in 50 years from the Wallach Collection, ArtDaily said.

One of the most important group of works on paper by EgonSchiele to come to auction will be offered from the Leopold Museum in Vienna (combined est. £9-12 million), and further highlights include a selection of works from a rare English collection of Impressionist art, the Collection of the Late Earl of Jersey, two remarkable pastels by Edgar Degas and a strong offering of German Expressionist Art.

The sale is estimated to fetch in excess of £103 million. Helena Newman, Chairman of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department Europe, said, “We are delighted to present a sale this February that includes such important and hugely appealing works that span right across the Impressionist & Modern Art field, spearheaded by Picasso’s 1932 work Femme assisepresd’unefenetre. In recent years in particular we have witnessed the remarkable allure of Picasso’s portraits of Marie-Therese to collectors, with La Lecture selling for £25 million - double its pre-sale estimate - in Sotheby’s February 2011 sale, and Nature morte aux tulipes selling in Sotheby’s November 2012 sale for $41.5 million. This particular portrait is a striking and notably modern-looking work from one of the artist’s most celebrated periods."


Source : Iran Daily

Oscar nominee ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ tops weekend box office

Oscar contender “Zero Dark Thirty” won the top spot at the box office this past weekend with a $24 million haul, beating out “A Haunted House” and “Gangster Squad.” The Kathryn Bigelow film won Jessica Chastain a Golden Globe evening for her performance as a CIA operative at the helm of the manhunt for Osama bin Laden. More awards could be on the horizon for the film, which received several Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Actress.



Russian diamonds are best friends of girls around the world

Experts say that China and India will become the main consumers of diamonds by 2020 and that they will outstrip the USA, today’s current leader. The reason for this is that the American tradition to wear jewelry with diamonds is becoming very popular there.

Russia that is one of the leaders on the world market of diamond raw materials is not subject to this tendency. Practically, all Russian diamonds go abroad.

The USA, traditionally, remains the largest consumer of diamonds. There is a tradition among Americans to give their fiancées diamond engagement rings and to frequent the society in all brilliance of their diamonds. However, as a result of the financial crisis, the sales of diamonds have dropped.

There is a reverse tendency in China and India, where jewelry with diamonds is in great demand. It can be explained by the fact that people are becoming more prosperous there and also thanks to the growing popularity of the Western culture, an analyst with the Invest cafe Agency, Andrei Shenk, says.

"Regarding China and India, we can say that the two countries’ economies are developing dynamically. The people’s real incomes are rapidly growing as well. Besides, they are becoming more financially solvent. That is why it is quite logical that these two countries will outstrip the USA in the consumption of diamonds by 2020."

Russia ranks among the leaders in the volume of extraction of natural diamonds, and it is determined to keep its high positions on the diamond market in the future too. The Russian diamond mining companies have solid diamond reserves that are confirmed as of today. For example, the Russian Alrosa Company extracts diamond raw materials in the volume of approximately 35 million carats annually, and its confirmed resources exceed 970 million carats, which means that it will last some 25 to 30 years. Alrosa supplies only about 25 per cent of diamonds to the home market while all the rest is meant for export. Cartier, Tiffany and many other world luxury brands use Russian diamonds.

Regarding domestic demand, we should say that it is at a low level. As compared with the USA, India, China, and Japan, there is no tradition in Russia to wear diamond jewelry, Chief of the Examination Department at the Lomonosov Moscow State University Yuri Shelementiyev says:

"In the 20th century it became clear that these traditions had emerged thanks to the efforts of the diamond mining companies – such as De Beers and many others, which by means of their advertising created stable traditions of diamond consumption."

Partly, a low demand on diamond jewelry in Russia can be explained by the fact that Russian women remain committed to European culture. In Europe diamond jewelry is mainly meant to be worn during parties, not in the daytime. Simple gold and silver jewelry is more popular in Russia.

Despite that, more than 90 per cent of Russian women have jewelry with diamonds. Mainly, such are presents made on the occasion of their birthday and wedding anniversary, or some other significant event. Thus, diamonds are regarded as the best friends of Russian girls.

Source: Voice of Russia