Tuesday, 30 June 2009
But now they have taken it to another level.
Here we have a few examples of cars they have 'ripped off'.
Rolls-Royce is consulting lawyers after the Chinese launched the Geely GE, a copycat car, including a winged mascot and huge radiator grill, for just £30,000...
A model poses next to the Lifan Motors 320......or perhaps she's auditioning for a remake of The Italian Job (The Chinese Job, perhaps?) as it looks just like the Mini, seen below.
Finally, it seems that even logos are not safe from reinvention in China. Here's the world-famous Bentley badge......and below it is ludicrously similar, ludicrously named Riich
A prominent under-bite, scrunched face and floppy ears are the hallmarks of a winner.
The winner of the World's Ugliest Dog contest, that is.
Pabst, a boxer-mix rescued from a shelter by Miles Egstad of Citrus Heights, Calif., won the annual contest on Friday at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Northern California.
It was an upset victory for Pabst, who beat former champion Rascal, a pedigree Chinese Crested.
A woman who inherited a collection of Chinese carved jade from her father has scored the first $1 million (£600,000) appraisal from experts on the US television programme "Antiques Roadshow," the producers said on Monday.
In a record for the show, four pieces of Chinese carved jade and celadon from the Qianlong era (1736-1795), including a large bowl made for the Emperor, were given a conservative auction estimate of up to $1.07 million.
"For 13 years, we've been hoping to feature a million-dollar appraisal on 'Antiques Roadshow;' it's been our 'Great White Whale,'" said Marsha Bemko, the show's executive producer.
"We're thrilled that, despite this year's slow economy, 'Roadshow' finally captured this elusive trophy," she said in a statement released by the Boston-based production company WGBH, which licensed the format from the British show of the same name, but is not affiliated with the BBC original.
On both shows, members of the public bring in items to be appraised by professionals in the hope of discovering that junk from the attic is actually a valuable treasure.
The British version had its £1 million appraisal ($1.655 million) last November - a scale model of Anthony Gormley's artwork, "The Angel of the North."
The statement said the owner of the jade inherited the collection from her father, who bought the objects in the 1930s and 1940s, while stationed in China as a military liaison.
She brought them to an "Antiques Roadshow" event in Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday.
Michael Jackson was emaciated, virtually bald, covered in needle scars and had only pills in his stomach when he died, according to an autopsy report.
The Sun newspaper apparently have had access to the leaked autopsy report on Jackson, who collapsed with a heart attack at the age of 50 on Thursday. He was 5ft 10in tall but weighed only 8st 10z, according to The Sun.
His stomach contained the remains of partially dissolved tablets taken by the singer before an alleged final injection of painkillers, according to a coroner's report seen by the newspaper.
It disclosed that the star's distinctive shoulder length locks were a wig as he had lost virtually all of his hair.
Meanwhile his body was covered in a mass of surgery scars from at least 13 cosmetic operations, the newspaper claimed.
Following disclosures about the singer's addiction to a cocktail of painkillers, the post mortem report was said to confirm that his legs and shoulders bore numerous needle marks.
The Sun also detailed evidence of the final efforts to save the singer's life after his collapse including broken ribs, believed to have been caused by frantic resuscitation, and the wounds from injections to restart his heart.
The images of the singer hard at work rehearsing for his upcoming tour give a glimpse of what was in store for fans at his planned comeback gigs in London's 02.
Jackson was due to begin the first of 50 dates at the arena on July 13, but died last Friday after being rushed to hospital in Los Angeles.
In one of the newly-emerged images, taken last Tuesday at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, the singer points towards the audience as backing dancers perform in front of a huge This Is It banner.
Monday, 29 June 2009
Dubai prides itself on it's multicultural and mixed communities and the fact that so far they have not been a victim of a terrorist attack. But don't hold your breath.....
On the cultural front in Dubai, locals are confronted by a very foreign culture at every turn. Expats flaunt short skirts and skimpy tops and get drunk on the beach, yet local female students require a pass-card to leave the university campus in fully covered black garb. Fashionable restaurants only permit Western clothing and turn away men in Arab costume. Friday is the holy day in Islam, but it’s the day of drunk partying and sexual debauchery for Westerners. And there is almost no cultural integration between the locals and the foreigners.
What would happen if just one act of terrorist violence targeted expat tourists or resident professionals?
International investment would dry up; the million tourists who flock there to shop and sun themselves each year would melt away; the footballers and pop stars who have bought exclusive villas on the new Palm Islands development, such as Michael Owen and Rod Stewart, would doubtless move to safer shores.But it could happen.......
Moreover, since Dubai is the Middle East’s cosmopolitan melting pot, and its experiment with Islamic capitalism could become the blueprint for surrounding Arab states, its failure would have dire consequences for the entire region.
There are two options available to Muslims:
• The Murabaha (Deferred sale finance) Mortgage
• The Ijara (lease to own) Mortgage
The Murabaha Mortgage:
This is only really an option for individuals/families who have a fair amount of capital behind them, because it is a condition of this Mortgage package that you are expected to pay (circa.) 20% of your home’s value, on the day of purchase. However from that day the house will be registered as your own. You may pay off any debt that is outstanding on your home at any point. This package offers a fixed repayment period that is agreed between you and your lender, any a monthly repayment amount that is fixed for the term of your mortgage.
So how does the Murabaha Mortgage work?; When you find the house that you wish to buy, you arrange a sale price with the vendor as normal, however the bank pays the purchase price, then immediately sells the house to you at a higher price (the higher price is determined by the original price of the property, and the repayment period that you will have agreed with the lender), minus the percentage you pay as deposit.
The Ijara Mortgage:
This is a slightly more popular choice of mortgage, as you do not need a large amount of capital behind you to set up this mortgage, it is also slightly more flexible than its counterpart. An extra benefit to this type of mortgage is that it can even be taken out to replace an existing interest mortgage. The amount you pay each month is usually fixed yearly. The outstanding balance can be paid off at any time (usually) without incurring any penalties.
So how does the Ijara Mortgage work?; As with the Murabaha mortgage, you find a property that you wish to buy, and agree a purchase price with the vendor, the difference is that; your lender will then purchase, and gain ownership of the property. You will enter into a lease agreement with the lender. Each month you will be expected to pay rent to your lender and a contribution towards the purchase of your property.
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Last night his best-of album reached No 1 in the UK charts, with four of his other albums also entering the Top 20. Forty-three of the Top 200 singles feature the singer.
As the first pop superstar to die since the digital revolution made music easily available online through websites such as iTunes, Jackson's posthumous sales are expected to dwarf those of Elvis Presley and John Lennon.
Eamonn Forde, music industry analyst and contributing editor of Music Week said that Jackson's death was "far, far bigger than the The Beatles making their back catalogue digitally available".
"Because of the instant gratification of digital, a lot of people who would never have bothered going to the record shop are buying Michael Jackson songs, because they can do it with a couple of clicks from their bedroom," he said.
"The last time we saw such interest in a particular artists was when Sir Elton John released Candle in the Wind after Princess Diana's death, but a whole industry was required to get those records to the shops. There are no such restrictions this time."
Concrete sales figures since Jackson's death are not yet available, but industry sources said that well in excess of 100,000 of his records had been bought or legally downloaded in the UK since Thursday. At one stage on Friday his albums filled the top 14 places on the online retailer Amazon's sales ranking.
Jackson was an even bigger star in the world's two biggest music markets – the US and Japan – where his albums have also jumped up the charts.
However, record sales are just the tip of the iceberg. "The real money will be made through royalty fees, every penny of which should go to his estate," said Gennaro Castaldo of HMV, the music retailer.
"You could not walk along any street this weekend without hearing Michael Jackson's music coming out of almost every shop radio. If you replicate that across the world, you are looking at millions of pounds."
The renewed appetite for his music will be exploited by the release of "new" Jackson material, ensuring the sales boost is drawn out over weeks and months.
The star is understood to have collaborated with some of the biggest names in urban music, including Will. I. Am of the Black Eyed Peas, on an as-yet-unnamed album, and he reportedly left 200 unpublished songs to his children in his will to secure their future in the event of his bankruptcy.
Sony Music is also understood to be preparing a new compilation album.
The income will go some way to easing the precarious financial position in which Jackson left his estate. His executors may be forced to sell the singer's lucrative share in the Beatles back catalogue to help clear his estimated £200 million debt.
"Quite frankly, he may be worth more dead than alive," said Jerry Reisman of the Hit Factory recording studio, where Jackson produced his best-selling album Thriller.
A GOOD job, close friends and loving wife . . . Keith Gough felt he was the richest man in the world - then he RUINED it all by winning £9 million on the Lottery.
The life-changing win four years ago became a recipe for disaster when baker Keith ended up blowing nearly ALL his dough.
Like most of us would, he thought scooping the incredible jackpot meant happiness for him and his family for the rest of their lives.
Instead Keith, 58, told last night how the fortune lost him his wife of 25 years and his friends - leaving him with only the comfort of the booze bottle to turn to.
In an exclusive interview, alcoholic Keith revealed that he now spends his time alone, and rues the day he ever bought the winning ticket.
He said: "My life WAS brilliant. But the Lottery has ruined everything. What's the point of having money when it sends you to bed crying?"
"Now when I see someone going in to a newsagent I advise them NOT to buy a lottery ticket."
Down-on-his-luck Keith also revealed how the windfall made him a TARGET for conmen, one of whom fleeced him out of £700,000.
On top of that, he splashed out on posh homes, flash motors, racehorses . . . and a CALL GIRL.
Unshaven Keith, who sleeps in the spare room of his nephew's small semi, now spends most of his time indoors, only venturing outside for long, lonely walks in the Shropshire countryside. He admits it's a far cry from the simple life he once shared with devoted wife Louise, also 58.
Remembering how the pair were looking forward to retirement, Keith sighed: "If I could crawl back on broken glass to where I was, I would. The Lottery has ruined our lives.
"My life was brilliant and I was very much in love with Louise."
Keith earned his living in a bakery and Louise worked in a solicitors' office. They enjoyed a comfortable existence in a £160,000 semi in Bridgnorth, Shropshire.
"And I had plenty of time for my passion, fly fishing," he added.
Then in June 2005 the couple got all six numbers on a National Lottery lucky dip ticket. It wasn't long before the pair, who have a 14-year-old son, started spending - and their first big buy was a £500,000 house down the road.
Keith tried to maintain a normal life by keeping his job at the bakery but jealousy among his colleagues forced him to quit.
He recalled: "Without routine in my life I started to spend, spend, spend . . . and because I had the spare cash in my pocket."
After shelling out hundreds of thousands of pounds on RACEHORSES, he bought a BMW for £60,000. He bought a sprawling £1MILLION HOUSE in Cheshire, hired a GARDENER (£15,000) and CHAUFFEUR (£25,000).
He also spent £35,000 on an EXECUTIVE BOX at his beloved footie team Aston Villa.
His flash behaviour lost him friends but worst of all he started drifting from his wife, mainly because he had sceretly begun drinking alone.
The boozing reached dangerous levels. He would spend £45 a day - £315 a week - on bottles of gin, whisky and brandy. He said: "I was drinking every day and it was taking its toll on me and my marriage."
Nearly two years after their win, the couple split. Keith's boozing and spending spiralled even more out of control and he reached his lowest ebb.
He says: "In the end I was just bored. Before the win all I would drink was some wine with a meal - but now I was making myself ill. I ended up in the Priory in Birmingham."
By the time his divorce from Louise was finalised, Keith had wasted a large chunk of his fortune but walked away with £1.5 million. Louise still had several millions.
Instead of turning his life around, he plunged deeper into the mire.
While in rehab, he was visited by trickster James Prince, a bankrupt who deliberately targeted him for his money.
Vulnerable Keith, who was by now gambling heavily as well, was first of all persuaded by Prince to check himself out of the clinic and then to write big cheques for business ventures.
Prince - who also introduced Keith to a call girl he squandered eben more of his winnings on - conned a total of £700,000 from Keith. The trickster was later caught and sentenced to three years in jail for fraud.
From spending thousands of pounds a day, Keith's biggest expense now is the weekly grocery shop. But he eats alone after losing all his friends.
Keith explains: "I used to be popular but I've driven away all my friends. I don't trust anyone anymore.
"Money doesn't matter to me. I thought the lotto win was going to be the answer to my dreams. Now those dreams have turned to dust."
Source: News Of The World
Friday, 26 June 2009
Searches for topics related to Michael Jackson peaked at 3PM Pacific
Queries about the star soon rocketed to the top of its updates and searches. But the amount of traffic meant it suffered one of its well-known outages.
Before the company's servers crashed, TweetVolume noted that "Michael Jackson" appeared in more than 66,500 Twitter updates.
According to initial data from Trendrr, a Web service that tracks activity on social media sites, the number of Twitter posts Thursday afternoon containing "Michael Jackson" totaled more than 100,000 per hour.
That put news of Jackson's death at least on par with the Iran protests, as Twitter posts about Iran topped 100,000 per hour on June 16 and eventually climbed to 220,000 per hour.
Pretty morbid stuff but it shows how much people communicate via Twitter and other Social networking sites.