Angelina Is Named Beauty Icon Of The Decade

angelina jolie_Angelina Jolie beat Jennifer Aniston to the top spot of a poll to decide the top 20 beauty icons of the decade.

The Tomb Raider star’s luscious lips and flawless skin have seen women across the world envy her and millions of men want to be with her.

Her stunning looks even helped her bag Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt, after the pair starred together in the film Mr and Mrs Smith.

As well as appearing in several box office hits during the past decade, Angelina has also become a mum-of-six after adopting three children and giving birth to another three with Pitt.

The poll was carried out by Onepoll for Superdrug, who questioned 3000 British women.

Second place in the poll went to Angelina’s love rival Jennifer Aniston, who was still married to Pitt when the couple first met.

After her iconic hairstyle in the 1990s, the Friends actress has carried on wowing people with her sleek hair and flawless beauty throughout the past ten years.

Australian pop princess Kylie Minogue came third in the poll of Brits followed by Welsh actress Catherine Zeta Jones.

Cheryl Cole topped off an amazing decade by being voted into fifth place.

Since winning her place in girl group Girls Aloud in 2002, the Geordie beauty has seen her career soar, finishing the decade as the nation’s golden girl thanks to her role as X-Factor judge, she was named Beauty Icon of 2009 in Superdrug’s research last year.

As well as marrying Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole, she has also become the high-profile face of L’Oreal.

Actress Scarlett Johansson was at six, followed by English rose Keira Knightly who was named Beauty Icon of 2008 in Superdrug’s research.

American superstar Beyonce was eighth while Armageddon star Liv Tyler was at nine.

Oscar winning actress Halle Berry completed the top ten.

Other stars to feature in the top 20 include Titanic star Kate Winslet, Transformer beauty Megan Fox and This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby.

A spokesman for Superdrug added: “It is great to see that the list is packed with women of all ages and colouring in the top twenty, from the ageless beauty Joanna Lumley to new national sweet heart Cheryl Cole.

“But the message from our stores for 2010 is you don’t have to be a film star or celebrity to be a beauty icon. Every single woman in Britain can walk into their local Superdrug and pick up products that will give them the confidence to turn heads on the high street. Unfortunately, we can’t promise that any of them will end up marrying Brad Pitt.”  The Independent

Floyd Mayweather Jr Confident Of Beating Manny Pacquiao

floyd mayweather jr. confident of beating manny pacquiao_Floyd Mayweather Jr says he will knock out Manny Pacquiao if and when boxing’s two biggest stars meet in 2010.

The American and the Philippines star, regarded as the world’s two best pound-for-pound boxers, are finalising plans for a welterweight meeting on 13 March.

And unbeaten Mayweather, 32, said: “He’s been knocked out before and he’s taken losses. I’ll be victorious.”

The Staples Center in Los Angeles, home of the NBA’s Lakers, is the latest venue to bid for the fight.

Promoters of both fighters were due to visit the new Dallas Cowboys stadium on Wednesday, but Mayweather’s camp pulled out at the last minute.

It is likely Mayweather, who lives and trains in Las Vegas, would prefer the fight to be in his home town, and the MGM Grand casino would now appear to be the favourite to host the bout.

Representatives of the New Orleans Superdome are also said to be interested in hosting arguably the biggest fight since the turn of the century.

But any venue not in Las Vegas would have to offer more money because Nevada gives fighters tax breaks that other states do not.

Both Cowboy Stadium and the New Orleans Superdome can accommodate up to 100,000 spectators, while the MGM Grand seats about 16,000.

The latter venue staged both boxers’ last fights – Filipino Pacquiao became a five-weight world champion following his WBO welterweight title win over Miguel Cotto in November, while Las Vegas-based Mayweather beat Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in September.

Pacquiao’s victory over Cotto completed an amazing 12 months in which he defeated ring legend Oscar de la Hoya as well as Britain’s Ricky Hatton.

With the fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao expecting to surpass the previous record of $18.4m (£11,36m) for gate receipts, which was for Mayweather’s bout with Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, promoters Bob Arum and Richard Schaefer are looking to maximise all possible revenues.

And Mayweather remains confident of blotting Pacquaio’s record of 50 victories from 55 fights.

“Pacquiao’s a good fighter but I’ve been around the sport a long time and I’ve dominated boxing for around 15 years now,” the American said on HBO Television’s Joe Buck Live chat show.

“No-one has defeated me yet so we’ll have to see.

“The thing is, I don’t want the fans to be really shocked by what will happen when we do happen to meet up because it’s not going to be anything new.”

Mayweather also admitted he has won and lost huge sums gambling on NFL matches in Las Vegas.

“Two weeks ago I won like a million [dollars], that was across a week of games, Monday night, Sunday and Thursday,” he added.

“I didn’t lose a million but I lost a couple of hundred thousand. Then I tried to get some ‘get back’ and lost some more money on Brett Favre [Minnesota Vikings quarter-back].” BBC News

NATO Allies Pledge 7,000 Troops

nato allies pledge 7,000 troops_NATO allies will bolster the US troop surge in Afghanistan by sending at least 7,000 soldiers of their own, officials said in pledges that US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton described as crucial to turning the tide in the stalemated war.

The promised increase on Friday came as US Marines and Afghan troops launched the first offensive since US President Barack Obama announced a 30,000-troop US increase. The Marines and Afghan forces struck Taliban communications and supply lines on Friday in an insurgent stronghold in southern Afghanistan.

In yet another war development, US officials said the Obama administration may expand missile strikes on al-Qaeda and the Taliban inside Pakistan and will focus on training Pakistan’s forces in a border area where militants have been aiding the Afghan insurgency.

The Marine Corps offensive was part of preparations for the arrival of the 30,000 US reinforcements, General David Petraeus said. The top general in charge of both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars said the military has been working for months to extend what he called “the envelope of security” around key towns in Helmand and Kandahar provinces.

Hundreds of Marines were dropped by helicopter and MV-22 Osprey aircraft behind Taliban lines in the northern end of the Now Zad Valley of Helmand Province, scene of heavy fighting last summer, Marine spokesman Major William Pelletier said.

In Brussels, Clinton told allied foreign ministers that it was essential that contributions to the war effort be provided as quickly as possible. She thanked Italy for its announcement that it will send an additional 1,000 troops and Britain for its pledge of another 500, but she said nonmilitary assistance is equally important.

“The need for additional forces is urgent, but their presence will not be indefinite,” she told the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s highest political group.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark told reporters at the organization’s headquarters that still further NATO forces might be in the offing, suggesting there would be “more to come.”

Also, Admiral James Stavridis, the top NATO and US commander in Europe, said in an interview that he expects several thousand more non-US troops might be added to the 7,000.

“What we are all underlining to potential troop contributors is that we are truly asking for emphasis in the training area,” Stavridis said.

The transformation of Afghanistan’s army and police is critical to fulfill Obama’s intention to begin pulling out US units 18 months from now.

According to a copy of Clinton’s prepared remarks to the closed-door NATO meeting, she told the ministers that “the pace, size and scope of the drawdown will be predicated on the situation on the ground.”

“If things are going well, a larger number of forces could be removed from more areas,” she said. “If not, the size and speed of the drawdown will be adjusted accordingly.”

Fogh Rasmussen said: “Transition [to Afghan control] does not mean exit.”

Afghanistan’s security forces have been hobbled by a lack of training and resources, but US officials hope to bolster their ability by sending them out with US and allied troops into battle zones.

At least 150 Afghan troops joined about 1,000 Marines in Friday’s offensive in Helmand, said Daood Ahmadi, a spokesman for the province’s governor. He said the bodies of four slain Taliban had been recovered and more than 300 mines and roadside bombs turned up by Friday evening.

The new offensive aims to cut off the Taliban communication routes through Helmand and disrupt their supply lines, especially those providing explosives for the roadside bombs.”  Taipei Times

Obama’s Blunt Ultimatum To Pak To Stop Use Of Lashkar-e-Taiba To ‘Pursue Policy Goals’

obama's blunt ultimatum_Frustrated over Islamabad’s indifference towards terror organizations such as Al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba, President Barack Obama has warned that the United States may be impelled to use any means at its disposal to rout insurgents based along Pak-Afghan border, if Pakistan cannot deliver. In his letter to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, Obama called for Islamabad’s closer collaboration against all extremist groups, including al-Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Pakistani Taliban organization known as Tehrik-e-Taliban, and warned that its use of insurgent groups to pursue policy goals “cannot continue.”

Obama’s letter to Zardari, delivered through national security adviser Gen. James L. Jones, also included an offer to help reduce tensions between Pakistan and India.

During his Islamabad visit, Jones told Pakistani officials that no matter how many more troops the Obama sends to Afghanistan, the effort would fail unless Pakistan increases strikes against not only Al Qaeda’s leadership but also Mullah Muhammad Omar and the leadership of the Afghan Taliban.

Meanwhile, senior US officials cautioned that moves to put too many demands before Islamabad may backfire.

“We agree that no matter how many troops you send, if the safe haven in Pakistan isn’t cracked, the whole mission is compromised. But if you make too many demands on the Pakistanis in public, it can backfire,” The New York Times quoted the official, as saying.

Pointing out the complexity of the US-Pakistan relationship, another Obama administration official said that no success could be hoped against the Taliban unless the nature of the relationship with Islamabad is changed.

“Everyone understands this is a complex, nuanced, critical relationship. Everyone has their eyes open, and there are genuine concerns. But one focus now is on trying to expand cooperation,” he said.

“The long-term consequences of failure there (in Pakistan) far outweigh those in Afghanistan. We can’t succeed without Pakistan,” he added. Newstrack India

Guv’s Climate Panel Is Mostly Cloudy

guv's climate panel_Gov. Gary Herbert says the scientific jury is still out on climate change and he has promised an honest-to-goodness debate on one of the major policies of our time.

While the new administration is beginning to move on the pledge first made in August, the shape and nature of the forum has yet to crystallize.

Scientists at the state’s leading universities — Utah, Brigham Young and Utah State — have offered to help the governor untangle the technicalities of climate change. So have members of the Blue-Ribbon Advisory Committee on climate change, a multifaceted group that studied the issue for a year and advised former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. on the subject.

But no one has yet received invitations for Herbert’s forum because the organizers haven’t decided who should participate.

“It’s very much in the formative stage,” said Kirk Jowers, director of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics and one of the organizers of the event.

And, while it is unclear who will play a big role in the meeting — tentatively slated for April, around Earth Day — what will be up for discussion is certain.

“Science will be the place to start,” said Jowers. “All sides will be presented fairly. That is absolutely the single most important thing.”

Ted Wilson, Herbert’s new environment czar, echoes the idea that balance is essential. As the forum’s lead organizer, he has been fielding ideas about recommended speakers from

science, economics and other disciplines. The panels will include “rainmaker-type featured speakers,” who will not debate, and scientists, who will.

It’s unclear whether the governor’s forum will be a replay of the Legislature’s Public Utilities Committee climate change hearing last month.

The panel invited scientific experts for their input. But it created what some criticized as a false balance by giving equal weight to University of Utah Atmospheric Science Department Chairman Jim Steenburgh, who represented the consensus view of climate scientists, and Roy Spencer. Spencer is an atmospheric scientist from the University of Alabama who has been one of the most vocal skeptics of the prevailing view that humans are largely responsible for global warming.

Wilson said Herbert is interested in getting to the truth in order to form responsible policies.

“This is a governor who wants his departments to do all they can to prepare for the future,” said Wilson, a former Salt Lake City mayor and past director of the Hinckley Institute.

The discussion is expected to be still another step in the evolution of the Republican governor’s handling of a climate change policy to help Utah deal with what scientists expect to be hotter temperatures statewide and deeper droughts in southern parts of the state.

Last summer, Herbert told the Western Governors Association he is not convinced climate science is conclusive and questioned the state’s continued involvement in the Western Climate Initiative, a regional organization focused on responding to global warming.

In a September report released with U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, Herbert said Utah’s economy and people would be devastated by cap-and-trade legislation aimed at coping with climate change. In October, he restated his view that “the debate is raging” about the human impact on climate change.

“Maybe the scientists, maybe they feel good,” he told reporters during a televised news conference. “But they are not getting the word to the public because the public is very confused on the issue.”

Jon A. Krosnick has been studying the disconnect between climate science and personal actions for more than a decade as a professor of communication and political science at Stanford University.

Citing opinion surveys, he said the public overwhelmingly believes that the Earth’s climate is changing, the impact to society will be bad and that government should take action. But they are “not buying” that a disaster is on the horizon, as some scientists suggest.

One reason: The mass-media practice of representing the science as two-sided creates confusion. Another: Scientists do a lousy job of offering plausible solutions for dealing with climate change.

He said a forum based on simply presenting opposing views without providing context is unlikely to clear up the confusion.

“It will increase uncertainty,” Krosnick said, unless organizers also “tell people the prevalence of those views and the preponderance of evidence supporting them.”

More than 70 of the world’s scientific associations have published statements affirming that climate is changing most likely because of human activities and that it is a growing threat to human societies.

Kelly Patterson, a BYU political scientist, said he doubts a single forum like Herbert’s will do much to affect public opinion. On complex issues like climate change, people form their views based on what they see, hear and read in the media, as well as what they learn from associates, he said.

“Rare is the individual who sits down and weighs the evidence,” he said. “In these kinds of situations, people tend to side with trusted sources.” By Judy Fahys, The Salt Lake Tribune

Asia’s Luxury Car Market ‘Picking Up’: Rolls-Royce

rolls royce_Rolls-Royce said Friday the market for its super-luxury cars was picking up dramatically across Asia as the effects of the global financial crisis recede.

“We’re fast coming out of the financial crisis and China and India look like they will lead the way out in 2010 on a feel-good factor,” Rolls-Royce Asia-Pacific regional chief Colin Kelly said in New Delhi.

“Japan is also expected to have a very good year in 2010. Australia is also looking extremely positive.”

His comments came a day after the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said in its latest forecast that emerging market economies China and India were poised to accelerate and Japan’s recession had “bottomed out”.

Kelly was speaking during the unveiling in India of Rolls-Royce’s Ghost model, the automaker’s new lower-cost saloon car, which is due to hit the roads in the country in the second quarter of next year.

The Britain-based carmaker had a bumper year in 2008, when it sold a record 2,012 of its Phantom range worldwide and 200 across Asia, but has suffered this year from the global slump.

Kelly said the company initially expected Asian sales to be down 35 percent this year but would now “do better than we thought” as sales have been picking up in the past few months.

Next year sales would accelerate to “over 400″ cars in the region, he forecast. “We’re going from strength to strength in Asia.”

Sales globally were expected to increase to 2,500 in 2010, up sharply from the current year, when they “will be under 1,000,” said Kelly.

In Asia, China will contribute half of the unit sales next year while India, which is becoming an increasingly key market, will account for 10 to 12 percent, he said.

Rolls-Royce forecasts the Ghost will produce a big leap in sales in India, saying initial interest has been keen. The Ghost, the first model in a new Rolls-Royce series, was unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show last September.

Its on-the-road price in India will be 25 million rupees (535,000 dollars) compared to 35 million rupees for the Phantom.

Kelly said the company expected to sell 50 to 60 Ghosts and up to 15 Phantoms in India in 2010 compared with around 15 Phantoms for this year.

Rolls-Royce, once the car of choice of the maharajas during British colonial rule, re-entered India in 2005 after a break of half a century.

The main buyers in India are self-made business people.

“We used to sell to a lot of maharajas. Now we sell to commercial maharajas,” said Hal Serudin, spokesman for Rolls-Royce Asia Pacific.

The company’s upbeat outlook for India came after US magazine Forbes reported the number of billionaires in the country had almost doubled in the last 12 months to 52, mainly thanks to a surge in stock markets. Yahoo Daily News

Breast Cancer Study ‘Identifies Tumour-Causing Enzyme’

breast cancer_Scientists have identified an enzyme that is crucial for turning breast tissue into tumours, according to a study published in the journal Cell.

The Institute of Cancer Research says blocking the enzyme lysyl oxidase (LOX) reduced the size and frequency of tumours in mice.

They say LOX stiffens collagen, a major component of the supportive tissue in the breast.

A cancer charity said the study added to knowledge about how tumours develop.

The supportive tissue surrounding cancer cells is shaped differently to healthy tissue as well as being stiffer and more fibrous.

These properties have helped doctors to detect breast cancers, but until now scientists have not known what was causing these changes.

‘Clear physical change’

The team at the Institute for Cancer Research, using mice, found that LOX caused the collagen to change in a process known as cross-linking, which makes the tissue more fibrous.

Higher levels of LOX increased the levels of collagen in mammary glands, made the tissue stiffer and correlated with a higher number of tumours invading the breast tissue.

When the team used chemicals or an antibody to block the enzyme, they found collagen in the mammary glands contained fewer cross-links and was less fibrous.

The tissue also contained fewer, smaller tumours and they were less aggressive.

Dr Janine Erler from the Institute of Cancer Research, who led the research, said the study showed that stiffening of the breast tissue controlled by enzymes such as LOX was a key factor in cancer development. These enzymes could be a promising candidate drug target, she added.

“The enzyme triggers a clear physical change in breast tissue and, if we could stop this happening, we expect it would slow the growth of any cancers that did develop and make them easier to eradicate.”

‘Cautiously optimistic’

Professor Valerie Weaver of the University of California in San Francisco, who was also part of the team, said: “This study may also help explain why the rate of breast cancer increases dramatically with age – aged tissues are stiffer and contain higher levels of abnormal collagen cross-links.

“I’m cautiously optimistic. We still have a lot more work to do, but this is certainly exciting.”

Dr Alexis Willett, head of policy at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “This early stage research in cells and mice increases our understanding of how breast cancers develop and grow and suggests that enzymes such as LOX could be a potential target in the treatment of breast cancer.

“The next stage will be to test whether LOX has the same effect in humans, but it is likely to be some time before any potential new treatment is developed.”  BBC News