Friday, February 20, 2009


Prostitution in New York City

This week the government must release sealed documents that could reveal new details about the origins and scope of the prostitution investigation that brought down former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a judge ordered Thursday. U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff wrote in federal court in Manhattan that the documents, which were FBI applications for wiretaps, should be unsealed "given the strong and obvious public interest in disclosure." He ordered them released by Tuesday. The New York Times sued late last year to get access to the documents, which name the 67 people besides Spitzer who were clients of Emperor's Club VIP, a high-end prostitute service. The Times has agreed to allow the government to withhold the names of the customers in the documents. None of those customers except Spitzer has ever been identified and no client was ever charged. Four people who operated the ring were charged with prostitution and money laundering and have pleaded guilty.
The government has voluntarily unsealed a search warrant application for Emperor's e-mail account, but it withheld applications for wiretaps on cell phones, including one used by a woman who booked appointments with prostitutes.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


New York Fashion Week

As a result of the president Barack Obama being elected there is a question in the air: Does the fact of Obama been elected brings more faces of color to the runways this season? Is already noticed that in some shows the number of ethnic models during New York Fashion Week has been increased, although it’s hard to point out whether that’s a result of the excitement over the new President and First Lady or the ongoing conversations about the lack of diversity in fashion.

“I wouldn’t say it’s an invasion” of ethnic faces. “But it’s an acknowledgement.” Popular models on the catwalks include Sessilee Lopez, Jourdan Dunn and Chanel Iman, whom Lee called “staples” at fashion week.

The progress came after much work within the fashion community to raise awareness of the lack of diversity in fashion, both on the runways and in the ateliers. A series of panels spearheaded by former fashion model and model agency owner Bethann Hardison helped jump-start the conversation about race and fashion in 2007. From there, small victories ensued, including the July issue of Vogue Italia that featured all black models — Iman, Tyra Banks, Liya Kebede, Dunn and Alek Wek, among others. This year, American Vogue featured Dunn and Chanel Iman in a well shoot in its January issue, and now has First Lady Michelle Obama on its March cover.



The president Barack Obama tried to calm fears about American protectionism and assure Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper that he wants to grow trade between the two nations during his first foreign trip as president. The President Obama arrived in Ottawa, Canada this morning for his first foreign visit as commander-in-chief. The day-long trip is jampacked. So far, Obama has met with Canada's Governor-General, Michäelle Jean and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In a longer lunch meeting later today, Obama will discuss a variety of issues including climate change, the Afghanistan War and trade with the leader of our northern neighbor. Obama made a quick entrance to Parliament Hill and failed to greet the crowd of more than 500 Canadians who gathered to catch a glimpse of the new president and prime minister. Obama comments he told the Canadian leader during talks in Ottawa that there is nothing in the stimulus package that would run counter to that goal. Obama had caused some nervousness in Canada by pledging during the presidential campaign to renegotiate NAFTA, the trade agreement linking the U.S., Canada and Mexico, to get better labor and environmental standards. Both leaders said Thursday that as economies around the world face challenges, it's important for the U.S. and others to resist calls for protectionism.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Obamas Stimulus Plan: Administration of Change
Rounding the dark side of the moon

EarthriseForty years ago, three Apollo astronauts were the first to orbit the moon, and thus the first humans to see the dark side of the moon. In fact, their photograph of the fragile blue earth taken some 240,000 miles away is credited as a spark for the environmental movement―not a result anticipated in 1968. My hope is that we may be in the midst of a similar mind shift even as we come to grab with the economic scenery we’ve seen this past year, and as we welcome a new administration.

The challenges ahead and the changes we are likely to see under the Obama's administration will Help you find informed perspectives in four critical areas: the economy; health care; energy and the environment; and technology. The fact is, even during this period of change, there are many positive trends, matched by a host of opportunities. Medical technology and technology advances are continuing, and certainly will grow with an administration so committed to the expanded connections and enhanced efficiencies of 21st century digitization. Greening efforts also will receive new focus. Likewise, the administration’s commitment to empowerment, transparency and collaboration will yield a host of innovations and opportunities.

At the same time, as our new president has made clear, it is a time for all Americans to take a deep and sobering look at the excesses that led to this turmoil. Indeed, as we enter 2009, we might well feel like those astronauts peering down upon a dark and alien landscape. The year 2008 saw the most jobs lost since 1945 and the markets have fallen to levels last seen in the 1990s. And so we are confronted with urgent questions. Will we leave mountains of debt and a legacy of irresponsibility and lapsed compassion? Or will we leave, instead, a new system of coherent and smoothly functioning markets in which future generations can thrive and succeed? Time will tell.

The one thing I do know is that hard times do end, hastened by informed decisions and a willingness to look beyond today to better see tomorrow’s possibilities.


The 10 Most Beautiful Places in America, which is a nation so blessed with sights natural and man-made that you could ask all 300 million residents for their favorites places and expect 300 million different answers.

1. Red Rock Country (Sedona, Ariz.)
Ever since the early days of movies, when Hollywood has wanted to show the unique beauty of the West, it has gone to Sedona, a place that looks like nowhere else. Beginning with The Call of the Canyon in 1923, some hundred movies and TV shows have been filmed in and around town. We fell under Sedona's spell, too, and while debating our No. 1 spot kept returning to it for the same reasons Hollywood does: The area's telegenic canyons, wind-shaped buttes and dramatic sandstone towers embody the rugged character of the West -- and the central place that character holds in our national identity. There's a timelessness about these ancient rocks that fires the imagination of all who encounter them. Some 11,000 years before film cameras discovered Sedona, American Indians settled the area. Homesteaders, artists and, most recently, New Age spiritualists have followed. Many cultures and agendas abound, but there's really only one attraction: the sheer, exuberant beauty of the place. People come for inspiration and renewal, yellowish-browny cliffs rising from the beige desert floor, wind singing through box canyons, and sunsets that seem to cause the ancient hills and spires to glow from within. We hear the canyon's call and cannot resist.

2. Nighttime view from Mount Washington in Pittsburgh
In a nation with a wealth of spectacular cities full of compelling stories, ranking Pittsburgh as the No. 2 beauty spot is perhaps our most surprising choice. But the Steel City's aesthetic appeal is undeniable, as is its very American capacity for renewal. Standing atop Mount Washington, the steep hill that rises giddily on the city's south side, sightseers enjoy the unforgettable panorama of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers flowing together to create the mighty Ohio, that waterway so essential in the nation's settlement. The rivers cup downtown's lustrous Golden Triangle, where landmark skyscrapers thrust upward like rockets. At night, lights twinkle on no fewer than 15 bridges. Almost as breathtaking as the vista itself is the urban renewal that made it possible. A century ago, a pall of smoke lay so thick over town that streetlights burned all day. As Pittsburgh continues an evolutionary course that has taken it from trading post to transportation hub to industrial goliath, we salute its reinvention into one of America's most scenic and livable communities. In the life of a city, there's nothing more beautiful, or inspiring, than a renaissance.

3. The upper Mississippi River
For third-place honors, we turn to an area less celebrated than others, but nonetheless packed with the unique beauty our nation abounds in. Its low profile makes it all the more charming. To truly appreciate the Mississippi, we leave the familiar territory of Huck and Tom and take a spin on the Great River Road as it runs alongside Old Muddy's upper reaches through Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. One of the nation's most scenic routes, it winds over hills, atop towering bluffs and through one 19th-century river town after another. The sites along the way read like chapters in American history. Ancient Indian burial mounds punctuate rolling parkland, sidewheelers ply the river, and villages on either bank present fine examples of Steamboat Gothic, the ornate architectural style born in the heyday of river travel. In Galena, Ill., 85% of the buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. At Trempealeau, Wis., the Trempealeau Hotel has offered haven to watermen since 1888. The whole laid-back region's real draw is the river itself. Steady and timeless, it makes one fine traveling companion as it rolls toward the Gulf.

4. Hawaii's Na Pali Coast
At the country's extreme western edge, half a world away from the cradle of the American Revolution, we gain a flash of insight into the restlessness that drove our forebears from New England to the Pacific Ocean and beyond. They pushed west in search of paradise. Amid the coral reefs, beaches and mist-shrouded volcanic peaks of Hawaii's oldest island, they surely found it. Along the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali coast of Kauai, verdant mountains plunge 4,000 feet into the sparkling Pacific. A short hike inland, where Hanakapi'ai Falls pours into a crystal pool and tropical flowers dapple the lush hillsides, the play of color and light creates the effect of an Impressionist painting gone native. Experience the splendor at your own risk: The hardest thing about a trip to Kauai is boarding the plane to go back home.

5. Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
Engineering marvel, art deco icon, monument to progress: The Golden Gate Bridge does much more than connect San Francisco to Marin County. Named for the strait it spans -- the 3-mile passage between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific -- the bridge is a grand symbol of one of the world's most striking cities. Completed in 1937, the $35 million structure of concrete and steel embodied a city's unquenchable spirit -- and, by extension, the nation's. Set off by its signature orange paint job, twin 750-foot towers that seem to disappear into the heavens and spidery cables that stretch like harp strings, the Golden Gate was unlike anything else ever built. At 4,200 feet, the main suspension span was easily the world's longest. (Almost 70 years later, it ranks seventh.) Facts and figures tell only a partial story: Admired as a practical feat, the bridge is beloved as a work of art, one of the greatest the 20th century produced in any medium.

6. Grafton, Vt.
Had the French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in Vermont in the autumn of 1609 instead of summer, he never would have dubbed the land "Vert Mont." In fall, the foothills of the state's namesake Green Mountains blaze red, yellow and orange. Among the choicest spots to take in nature's annual art show is Grafton, right, one of the state's prettiest hamlets and, thanks to the efforts of the non-profit Windham Foundation, arguably its best preserved. The foundation has rehabilitated more than 50 historic buildings, including the Old Tavern at Grafton, a one-time stagecoach stop. Other man-made attractions include the award-winning Grafton Village Cheese factory, a pair of graceful New England churches, a nature museum, a smattering of art galleries and the almost obligatory covered bridge. But the compact village of 600 isn't really about picturesque buildings. It's about the Yankee virtues of simplicity, modesty and saving things that matter. Past and present harmonize sweetly in this vital community. Come fall, you'd swear you can hear the brilliant hillsides singing.

7. Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
America has older mountains than the Tetons, and higher ones. But it has none more dramatic. The jagged range was formed 6 million to 9 million years ago, when grinding pressure along the Teton Fault caused two massive sections of the Earth's crust to come unhinged. On the rift's west side, a block reared up to form the Teton range. On the east, a separate block buckled under, creating the valley known as Jackson Hole. This geologic violence is what makes the Tetons so spectacular: Forgoing the nicety of foothills, a dozen 12,000-foot peaks shoot abruptly from the valley floor, literally an eruption of granite. Amid the grandeur lies glittering Jenny Lake, left. Named for the Shoshone bride of a 19th-century trapper, the pristine, 2.5-mile-long body of water mirrors the mountains' glory. Beloved by canoeists, hikers and honeymooners, lovely Jenny is also popular with elk, moose and trumpeter swans. Small and dazzling, she is one of the true jewels of our glorious national park system.

8. From Key Largo to Key West in Florida
So little actual land, so many associations: coral reefs, Key deer, manatees, pirates, Key lime pie, silver palms, Bogart and Bacall downing gangsters in Key Largo, Hemingway downing mojitos at Sloppy Joe's in Key West. Florida's freewheeling Keys, it has been said, is where things settle when you pick up the continent and shake it. This much is certain: In the Conch Republic, as Key West is sometimes called, a spirited sense of American individualism prevails. Skipping down the fragile, ribbon-thin 110-mile archipelago on U.S. 1, visitors see things that exist nowhere else in the country. With a peak elevation of 18 feet, the land mass can seem but an afterthought to the shimmering Atlantic on one side and the blue-green Gulf on the other. In places the only thing separating them is the roadway itself, panoptic water enchanting travelers with the deliciously disorienting sensation that they've become one with the sea. Along with famously colorful residents and fauvist sunsets, it's one more Key reason to visit this beguiling place.

9. Clingmans Dome along the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Winding through 14 states as it makes its rugged way from Georgia to Maine, the entire Appalachian Trail ranks high on any list of scenic gems. First proposed in 1921 by hiking enthusiast Benton MacKaye, the trail came into service as a continuous footpath across the Eastern states in 1937. A monumental achievement, and one that has given countless Americans fresh appreciation for the vastness of the land, it rewards exploration of every well-trod mile. Clingmans Dome, at Tennessee's eastern edge, rises to 6,643 feet, the highest point along the 2,172-mile trail. The surrounding Smokies support more than 4,000 species of plants, 230 types of birds and some 65 mammal species. From a lookout at the summit, hikers gaze upon a fog-streaked wilderness and see the East as it existed hundreds of years ago, lush forest stretching unbroken in every direction. Among the clouds, one feels doubly awed: by our county's magnificent nature, and by our duty to steward it.

10. The squares of Savannah, Ga.
In this charmed city, the urban and the pastoral gracefully mingle in a uniquely Southern way -- that is, with gentility and a generous dollop of mystery. Shaded by live oaks, perfumed by magnolias and surrounded by historic buildings, 22 enchanting public squares (including Columbia Square, above) beckon like secret gardens. Feasts for the eyes, balm for the soul, the vest-pocket parks serve as gathering places, serene retreats and tourist attractions all rolled into one. Spanish moss romantically drapes Pulaski Square, named for Revolutionary War hero Gen. Casimir Pulaski. At Chippewa Square, lorded over by a statue of Georgia's founder, James Oglethorpe, pay respects to the man who drew up Savannah's triumphant 18th-century street plan. Forrest Gump had the right idea: He contemplated life from a bench in Chippewa Square.


According to the Sun newspaper Michael Jackson is being treated for a staph infection that has spread throughout his face and body, and

a report in the British newspaper says the 50-year-old singer is receiving intravenous antibiotics to try and halt the spread.

The reporter told the Sun Newspaper that it is a “MRSA-style infection” which is resistant to conventional antibiotics. The newspaper reported that Michael Jackson contracted the infection following a new reconstructive surgery on his nose.

The other source, The Times of London reported that the skin on Jackson's face and hands appeared inflamed in photos taken recently of the singer as he left a Los Angeles-area clinic.

In December, biographer Ian Halperin told a British newspaper that Jackson was suffering from Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency and was in need of a lung transplant. Jackson's “official and sole spokesperson, Dr. Tohme Tohme” denied the report, saying in a statement, “The writer’s wild allegations concerning Mr. Jackson’s health are a total fabrication. Mr. Jackson is in fine health.”

after this The Times was unable to reach Jackson's spokesman for comment.

According to some news source today Michael Jackson is being treated.


Music is something you enjoy listening to in different occasions of your life. However, some are considered bad, good, reasonable and of course exist the ones that are considered excellent. So, the judgement of the quality of the music varies from person to person. It goes from age to age from child, teens, young adults, 20's, late 20's, 30's, late 30's, 40's, late 40's and so on. It's judged according to your moment, according to what is happening in your live. Moreover, each year or decade the critics elect one music that they consider the best one. Below is a selected list.

1. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
2. Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis, Two Men with the Blues
3. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition
4. TV on the Radio, Dear Science
5. Adele, 19
6. Duffy, Rockferry
7. Santogold, Santogold
8. Gustavo Dudamel, Fiesta
9. Charlie Haden, Rambling Boy
10. Amy MacDonald, This Is the Life


1. Adele, 19
2. Duffy, Rockferry
3. Melody Gardot, Worrisome Heart
4. Amy MacDonald, This Is the Life
5. The Ting Tings, We Started Nothing
6. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
7. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular [Bonus Features]
8. Lucy Woodward, Lucy Woodward Is... Hot & Bothered [Barnes & Noble Exclusive]
9. Jazmine Sullivan, Fearless
10. Esperanza Spalding, Esperanza


1. R.E.M., Accelerate
2. Metallica, Death Magnetic
3. The Pretenders, Break Up the Concrete
4. Mudcrutch, Mudcrutch
5. Joan Baez, Day After Tomorrow
6. The Fireman, Electric Arguments
7. Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere, Nudge It Up a Notch
8. Charlie Louvin, Steps to Heaven
9. Shirley Bassey, Get the Party Started
10. The B-52's, Funplex


11. Hank Williams, The Unreleased Recordings
12. Bob Dylan, The Bootleg Series Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs - Rare and Unreleased
33. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition
14. Led Zeppelin, Definitive Collection Mini LP Replica Box
15. Willie Nelson, One Hell of a Ride [Box Set]
16. Motown: The Complete No. 1s
17. Hunter S. Thompson, The Gonzo Tapes: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S.
18. Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia
19. The Pogues, Just Look Them Straight in the Eye and Say...Pogue Mahone [Box
20. 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies


1. Shelby Lynne, Just a Little Lovin'
2. Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue
3. Jim White, Transnormal Skiperoo
4. The Black Crowes, Warpaint
5. Raphael Saadiq, The Way I See It
6. Nick Lowe, Jesus of Cool [Bonus Tracks]
7. Jamie Lidell, Jim
8. Lizz Wright, The Orchard
9. Buika, Niña de Fuego
10. The East Village Opera Company, Olde School


1. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition
2. Cassandra Wilson, Loverly
3. Joe Lovano, Symphonica
4. Esperanza Spalding, Esperanza
5. Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis, Two Men with the Blues
6. Melody Gardot, Worrisome Heart
7. Stanton Moore, Emphasis! On Parenthesis
8. Dianne Reeves, When You Know
9. Brad Mehldau, Live
10. Bebo & Chucho Valdés, Juntos Para Siempre


1. Ray LaMontagne, Gossip in the Grain
2. Metallica, Death Magnetic
3. Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation's Dark
4. The Pretenders, Break Up the Concrete
5. TV on the Radio, Dear Science
6. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
7. The Black Crowes, Warpaint
8. The Black Keys, Attack & Release
9. Weezer, Weezer (Red Album) [Bonus Tracks]
10. Dragonforce, Ultra Beatdown


1. Santogold, Santogold
2. Danity Kane, Welcome to the Dollhouse
3. Day26, Day26
4. Erykah Badu, New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War
5. Janelle Monáe, Metropolis: The Chase Suite [Special Edition]
6. Solange Knowles, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams
7. T.I., Paper Trail
8. Raphael Saadiq, The Way I See It
9. Jazmine Sullivan, Fearless
10. Ne-Yo, Year of the Gentleman


1. The Felice Brothers, The Felice Brothers
2. Kathleen Edwards, Asking for Flowers
3. Sonny Landreth, From the Reach
4. Buddy Guy, Skin Deep
5. Amos Lee, Last Days at the Lodge
6. Charlie Haden, Rambling Boy
7. Joan Baez, Day After Tomorrow
8. Pete Seeger, At 89
9. Ray LaMontagne, Gossip in the Grain
10. Bob Dylan, The Bootleg Series Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs - Rare and Unreleased