Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show heads to London

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show heads to London
Victoria's Secret models Candice Swanepoel and Adriana Lima at a press conference at the Victoria's Secret New Bond Street store in central London.<br />
Photo / AP
Victoria’s Secret models Candice Swanepoel and Adriana Lima at a press conference at the Victoria’s Secret New Bond Street store in central London.
Photo / AP

London is getting a new fashion extravaganza – the Victoria’s Secret Show, which will take place for the first time in the British capital this year.

Victoria’s Secret models Adriana Lima and Candice Swanepoel joined Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek at the company’s London flagship store for the announcement on Tuesday.


Gallery: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2013

The annual show, known for its unique lingerie and live performances by top entertainers, will be held at Earls Court in the fall and air on CBS at a later date. No specific dates were given.

Previous host cities have included New York, Miami and Los Angeles. The event is televised to 192 countries.

- AP

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Have hipsters whisked the sex factor out of beards?

Have hipsters whisked the sex factor out of beards?
Hollywood hunks Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto and Bradley Cooper realise the allure of sexy facial hair. Photo / AP
Hollywood hunks Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto and Bradley Cooper realise the allure of sexy facial hair. Photo / AP

How and when men’s facial hair is seen as a sexual trait has been examined by New Zealand researcher Dr Barnaby Dixson and colleagues from the University of New South Wales.

The researchers photographed 36 men when clean shaven, with light stubble, heavy stubble beard, and then showed them to a survey sample of 1453 heterosexual and bisexual women and 213 heterosexual men.

They found that heavy stubble and full beards were seen as more attractive when there were fewer of them shown together – but the more men who wore them, the less they were viewed as attractive.

Read more: Blog – why are beards sexy?

“When beards were rare, hirsute faces were more attractive than when beards were common …” the authors said.

“Conversely, when clean-shaven faces were rare, clean-shaven faces and light stubble enjoyed their greatest attractiveness, and beards became less attractive.”

The authors however said there was not an “inversion of preferences”, such as clean-shaven faces becoming more attractive than beards when rare, with clean-shaven faces rating lowest in all tests.

“However, the mean attractiveness of a suite of faces is altered by the frequency of beards, suggesting negative frequency dependence could alter the cultural dynamics by which facial hair fashions vary.”

Novelty effects – possibly spurred by imitation of “influential early adopters” – could affect the rise in frequency of new fashions, they said.

The study was published today in Biology Letters.

The beard has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over recent years, with bearded celebrities including George Clooney, Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper raising the appeal.

As a Victoria University PhD student in 2009, Dr Dixson made headlines with a study that showed men noticed womens’ breasts first – and could zoom in on a woman’s most attractive features within 200 milliseconds.

- NZ Herald

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Boston Marathon bombing victims honoured at special ceremonies

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“This day will always be hard, but this place will always be strong,” former Mayor Thomas Menino told an invitation-only audience of about 2,500 people gathered at the Hynes Convention Center, not far from the marathon finish line where three people died and more than 260 others were wounded a year ago.In Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama planned to observe the anniversary with a private moment of silence at the White House.”Today, we recognize the incredible courage and leadership of so many Bostonians in the wake of unspeakable tragedy,” Obama said in a statement. “And we offer our deepest gratitude to the courageous firefighters, police officers, medical professionals, runners and spectators who, in an instant, displayed the spirit Boston was built on — perseverance, freedom and love.”Obama said this year’s race, scheduled for Monday, will “show the world the meaning of Boston Strong as a city chooses to run again.”U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in Boston for the ceremony, and he said the courage shown by survivors and those who lost loved ones is an inspiration for other Americans dealing with loss and tragedy. He praised four survivors who spoke before he did and said that though he’s not a Boston sports fan, Boston is an incredible city.”We are Boston. We are America. We respond. We endure. We overcome. And we own the finish line,” he concluded, to loud applause.Survivors have formed their own communityEarlier in the day, a wreath-laying ceremony drew the families of the three people killed — Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell and Lu Lingzi — as well as relatives of Massachusetts Institute of Technology police Officer Sean Collier, who was killed in the aftermath of the blasts.Boston Marathon bombing survivor Erika Brannock, a pre-school teacher from the Baltimore area, crosses the finish line with her mother during a special Tuesday ceremony. (Elise Amendola/AP)Gov. Deval Patrick, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley were among those who attended the morning ceremony held in a light rain as bagpipes played. O’Malley offered a prayer.The victims were also honored at the Hynes center, where the survivors who spoke included newlywed Patrick Downes and dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, both of whom lost their lower left legs in the bombings.”We should have never met this way, but we are so grateful for each other,” Downes said, describing the sense of community that has developed among the survivors.Carlos Arredondo, the cowboy hat-wearing spectator who was hailed as a hero for helping the wounded after the bombings, said he came to the tribute ceremony to support survivors and their families. Biden also mentioned him.”You can see how the whole community gathered together to support them and remember,” Arredondo told reporters before the program began.Boston police Commissioner Williams Evans said the anniversary is an emotional day and brings back “some terrible memories.”"Hopefully, today brings the city and the families some sense of comfort and some healing,” he said before ceremonies began.Moment of silence at finish lineAt 2:49 p.m., a moment of silence was held at the marathon finish line, to mark the time and place where two bombs exploded last April 15. It was followed by a flag-raising by officer Richard Donohue, who was badly wounded in a shootout with the bombing suspects.The family of bombing victim Martin Richard place their hands over their hearts alongside former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino during the sombre ceremony. (Charles Krupa/AP)Authorities say two brothers planned and orchestrated the attack and later shot and killed Collier during an attempt to steal his gun. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died following a shootout with police days after the bombings. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges and is awaiting trial. He faces the possibility of the death penalty.The Tsarnaevs, ethnic Chechens who lived in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan and the Dagestan region of Russia, settled outside Boston in Cambridge more than a decade ago after moving to the U.S. as children with their family.Prosecutors have said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left a hand-scrawled confession condemning U.S. actions in Muslim countries on the inside wall of a boat he was found hiding in following the police shootout.

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Scarves donated by soccer clubs across the world were laid out in the centre circle at Anfield, forming the shape of the number “96″ beneath a blue sky on Tuesday.Outside the stadium, two middle-aged men — one wearing a Liverpool shirt and the other an Everton jersey — shared a warm embrace next to the famous Shankly Gates.The global soccer community, in particular Merseysiders, united to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in which 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death during an FA Cup semifinal.The focal point on a day of commemoration and remembrance was Anfield, where Liverpool players past and present and the families of the victims were among the estimated 30,000 people who attended a memorial service.Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez, the managers of Liverpool and Everton, delivered readings and short addresses to pay their respects to the men, women and children who died in Britain’s worst sports tragedy. Both earned standing ovations.”We will always strive to honour the families and the memory of the 96 that we lost,” said Rodgers, his voice beginning to tremble. “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” he added, a nod to the club’s anthem.Bells from churches across the region rang 96 times and Liverpool’s public transport came to a halt for a minute’s silence at 3:06 p.m. — the time the fateful match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest was stopped following a crush in a standing-only section of Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough ground.A short memorial also was held across Stanley Park at Everton’s Goodison Park, after which schoolchildren led a procession to Anfield holding 96 linked soccer scarves.Tributes came from across the world, with FIFA President Sepp Blatter sending a letter to the English Football Association. He expressed his “deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the 96 who so tragically lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster.”Flags at FIFA’s member associations were flown at half-mast on Tuesday.UEFA President Michel Platini and British Prime Minister David Cameron also sent condolences to the victims’ families.The families have spent 25 years seeking justice after authorities initially sought to place the blame on the victims by characterizing the tragedy as a result of hooliganism.The original accidental death verdicts were overturned by the High Court in London in 2012 after documents showed a cover-up by police. New inquests into the fatalities are attempts to get the deaths officially described as unlawful killings. The inquests have been adjourned this week because of the anniversary.”The authorities took on the wrong city if they thought they were going to get away with it,” said Martinez, to loud cheers. The service was interrupted on two occasions by chants of “Justice for the 96.”Accompanying the grieving and ongoing suffering of the families is a sense of optimism that justice is about to be served.There’s also been recent success on the field. Everton is on track to qualify for next season’s Champions League, and Liverpool is on top of the Premier League by two points as it seeks a first championship in 24 years. The service started with local clergymen reading out the names of the 96 victims. It ended with 96 balloons released as fans sang You’ll Never Walk Alone.

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Oscar Pistorius trial: accused murderer’s cross-examination ends

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Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said he had no further questions after presenting the prosecution’s case that Pistorius is lying in his account of mistakenly shooting Reeva Steenkamp through a toilet cubicle door. Nel said the double-amputee runner killed her intentionally after a late night fight.In the adjournment after his cross-examination, Pistorius rubbed his eyes and briefly sank his head into the shoulder of a man sitting with his family. He took a tissue from his sister Aimee, who squeezed his arm reassuringly. Shortly afterward, he listened attentively as Barry Roux, his chief lawyer, spoke to him in a low voice.INTERACTIVE | The state vs. Pistorius: how the accounts differ
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Throughout the grueling questioning, Nel accused Pistorius of “tailoring” evidence and “concocting” a story that he shot out of fear of an intruder in the toilet cubicle in his bathroom in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14, 2013.”Unfortunately I have to put it to you that it’s getting more and more improbable,” Nel said of the story to Pistorius.Nel asserted that the couple fought during the night and Steenkamp wanted to leave, then fled to the bathroom screaming before Pistorius shot her through the door with his nine-millimetre pistol. Pistorius said he never heard Steenkamp scream, or say anything in the minutes before he shot her.The prosecutor even charged that Pistorius fired the four shots from about three metres away from Steenkamp as he was talking and arguing with Steenkamp, and changed his aim with later shots to ensure that he hit her as she fell back.Nel’s unrelenting questioning and accusations provoked many denials by Pistorius and caused the athlete to break down in sobs on numerous occasions.Alleged inconsistenciesPistorius says that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder about to come out of the toilet to attack him. He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.Over the past week, Pistorius came under intense pressure from Nel who accused the world-famous disabled runner of lying in the witness box. Pistorius has struggled at times to explain alleged inconsistencies during his testimony.Nel closed his cross-examination by inviting Pistorius to take the blame for shooting Steenkamp, but he steered away from a direct response, saying only that he opened fire because he believed his life was under threat. That remark drew barbed follow-up questions from the prosecutor.”We should blame somebody …. Should we blame Reeva?” asked Nel, who has harshly criticized Pistorius as someone who is unwilling to take responsibility.”No, my lady,” Pistorius replied, addressing the judge in line with court custom.’Who should we blame?’”She never told you she was going to the toilet,” Nel said. Then he asked: “Should we blame the government?”When Pistorius responded with another reference to a perceived attacker in his toilet, Nel asked: “Who should we blame for the Black Talon rounds that ripped through her body?”He abandoned his line of questioning soon after the judge questioned whether he was asking the same thing in a different way. Nel summed up by saying Pistorius intentionally killed Steenkamp.Pistorius remained in the witness box while Roux asked him a series of follow-up questions after the recess, with his lawyer attempting to reinforce the account of a mistaken killing. Roux asked Pistorius to describe his thoughts and emotions in the seconds before he shot at the door.”I was terrified. I feared for my life. I was just scared,” Pistorius said. “I was thinking about what could happen to me, to Reeva. I was just extremely fearful.”During cross-examination, Pistorius gave a sometimes muddled account of the shooting, saying he feared for his life but also didn’t intentionally shoot at anyone. He also told Roux he didn’t consciously pull the trigger on his gun and said it happened “before I could think.”Moonless nightFollowing Pistorius’s testimony, the defence called Roger Dixon, a forensic expert and former policeman.Dixon said he conducted light tests in Pistorius’s bedroom on a “moonless night” — as he said the night of the shooting was — and they showed it was almost completely dark in the bedroom. Dixon also went back to the house on Monday, he testified, and tested for light again with Pistorius’s music system and one of its small blue lights on, which Pistorius testified was the case on the night of the shooting.”With your back to the light I couldn’t see into the darker areas of the room,” Dixon said, apparently supporting Pistorius’s testimony that he could not see Steenkamp leave the bed to go to the bathroom, and so didn’t know it was her in the toilet cubicle.The defence also played recordings in court from noise tests they conducted at a shooting range on a replica door being hit with a bat and being shot at. The sounds were similar.Pistorius’s team was attempting to reinforce its argument that neighbours who say Steenkamp screamed before the gunshots confused the gunshots with the sounds of Pistorius hitting the door with a cricket bat, and were actually hearing Pistorius scream as he tried to break the door down to help Steenkamp.Timeline: Oscar Pistorius


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