Sophia Loren turned 80 yesterday — a landmark birthday feted across Italy with celebrations of the beauty and talent of the country’s revered cinema icon.
Loren herself was spending the day in Mexico City, where telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim had organized a gala dinner to mark the occasion.
Slim, one of the world’s richest men, was also hosting an exhibition at his private museum entitled “Yesterday, today and tomorrow.”
That is also the title of a new memoir Loren has produced to mark her octogenarian birthday and which is full of anecdotes detailing, for example, how enamored Cary Grant was of her, and how she once resisted Marlon Brando’s amorous advances by hissing at him like an angry cat.
The illegitimate daughter of an actress, Loren is adored in her homeland for that kind of feistiness — as well as for her triumph over extremely humble origins, her acting talent and for the voluptuous good looks that made her synonymous with simmering sensuality.
Born Sofia Scicolone to an actress single mother, Loren was nicknamed the “toothpick” because she was so thin in her early teens. However, she soon filled out sufficiently to be able to earn a living for herself and her impoverished family by winning beauty contests.
At one of them, aged 15, she met Carlo Ponti, a man two decades older than her who was to become her husband, manager and constant companion until his death in 2007.
Loren had two children and picked up an Oscar for best actress for her role in Vittorio De Sica’s Two Women.
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
A Malaysian student whose cellphone was stolen while he was sleeping has tracked down the culprit: a monkey who took photo and video selfies with the device before abandoning it. Zackrydz Rodzi, 20, on Wednesday said that his mobile phone was missing from his bedroom when he woke up on Saturday. He found the phone’s casing under his bed, but there was no sign of robbery in his house in Johor state. JUNGLE When his father saw a monkey the next day, he searched in the jungle behind his house. Using his brother’s cellphone to call his own device, he found it covered
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
Australia is notorious for its venomous spiders, snakes and sea creatures, but researchers have now identified “scorpion-like” toxins secreted by a tree that can cause excruciating pain for weeks. Split-second contact with the dendrocnide tree, a rainforest nettle known by its Aboriginal name gympie-gympie, delivers a sting far more potent than similar plants found in the US or Europe. A team of Australian scientists said that they now better understand why the gympie-gympie’s sting haunts those unlucky enough to brush up against its leaves. Victims report an initial sting that “feels like fire at first, then subsides over hours to a pain reminiscent