Italian film and opera director Franco Zeffirelli is offering his services to Pope Benedict as an image consultant, saying the German pontiff comes across as cold and needs to review his wardrobe.
Zeffirelli, acclaimed for movies such as Romeo and Juliet and Jesus of Nazareth, said in an interview with La Stampa daily on Saturday the 80-year-old pope did not have "a happy image."
"Coming after a media-savvy pope like John Paul II is a difficult task ... . Benedict XVI still communicates coldly, in a way that is not suited with what is happening around him," Zeffirelli said.
"It's an issue I have been discussing with people who have key roles in the Vatican," said Zeffirelli, who has directed some Vatican television events.
"The Pope does not smile much, but he is an intellectual. He has a very rigid Bavarian structure," he said.
Zeffirelli, 84, added that papal robes were "too sumptuous and flashy." "What is needed is the simplicity and sobriety seen in the other echelons of the Church," he said.
"If they officially give me a supervisory role, I will do it full-time."
Also in Italy, George Clooney and Don Cheadle brought their Darfur campaign to Rome, where the Hollywood actors received a peace award for their efforts to raise awareness on the humanitarian crisis in the region.
"We do concerts, rallies, where thousands of people show up and say how terrible it is," Clooney told a news conference. "But the truth is not one single thing has changed. Now it's time to turn that corner." The actors have raised money and attention to stop a conflict that has claimed more than 200,000 lives and uprooted 2.5 million people since ethnic African rebels took up arms against Sudan's Arab-dominated government in 2003.
On Thursday, they asked world leaders to provide helicopters for a joint UN-African union peacekeeping force scheduled to take over security in the Sudanese region later this month. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appealed for the aircraft, which he said are critical to protect both military personnel and civilians.
"If we get 24 helicopters in there we can protect 4 million people," Clooney said. "If they are lucky enough to escape rape, torture, murder ... and survive malaria and AIDS and starvation, (they) should at least have the chance to live." The two - co-stars in the Ocean's installments - were presented with a bronze statue by Italian sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi. Organizers credited "their efforts to pacify the tormented region of Darfur and help save lives." The ceremony marked the opening of a yearly meeting of Nobel Peace Prize laureates organized at the city hall by a foundation headed by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The meeting gathered Gorbachev, the Dalai Lama and other Nobel winners.
He's played stone cold killers, sexy leading men and military heroes, but John Travolta figures his best role yet may just be the woman he portrays in movie musical Hairspray.
Travolta on Thursday earned a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor in a musical or comedy as the overweight but always cheery mother, Edna Turnblad, of the overweight but totally cheery teen daughter, Tracy Turnblad, in the movie.
"It took a lot of cashing-in of male ego to do this," Travolta said in an interview. "But I finally said, 'You know John, acting is what you do best. You have to trust being an actor and not have this thing with the male ego get in the way."
Film producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron spent 14 months talking Travolta into wearing a fat suit and dresses to sing and dance the role. "They swore to me that if I committed and did it, it would be rewarding," the 53-year-old actor said.
If Travolta took some coaxing to get in touch with his feminine side, Wyclef Jean has leapt at the opportunity to help his motherland.
The Haitian hip-hop star is giving an open-air concert near Port-au-Prince's presidential palace Saturday, along with Senegalese-American singer Akon.
Named Haiti's goodwill ambassador by President Rene Preval, Jean is intent on changing his country's international image.
"Speaking of change, we need big foreign stars to come over and discover our country, see how beautiful it is and find out what's happening here," Jean told reporters after he and Akon arrived in the Caribbean nation, the poorest in the Americas, on Friday.
With his sugarcane juice stall at Monga Nightmarket (艋舺夜市) floundering due to COVID-19, things took a turn for the worse for Lin Chih-hang (林志航) when he was furloughed from a part-time job. The crowds are trickling back to this nightmarket in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), but Lin is now so busy that he has hired a friend to run his stall. As the sole driver of the night market’s delivery service, established on April 12, Lin takes on an average of 20 orders on weeknights and over 60 on weekends, with his father helping out when he is too busy.
May 25 to May 31 Three months before his 90th birthday in 2015, Chung Chao-cheng (鍾肇政) woke up shortly after midnight and experienced a inexplicable sense of clarity. “Suddenly, my mind started going all over the place. There were some recent memories, but also many that I thought I had long forgotten. They would appear and disappear from my brain one after another, and they were so clear, so lucid. Even the memories from 70, 80 years ago felt like they happened yesterday. I suddenly thought, if I still remember so much, why don’t I write everything down?” Despite his solid
In troubled times, people have been known to hoard currency at home — a financial security blanket against deep uncertainty. But in this crisis, things are different. This time cash itself, passed from hand to hand across neighborhoods, cities and societies just like the coronavirus, is a source of suspicion rather than reassurance. No longer a thing to be shoved mindlessly into a pocket, tucked into a worn wallet or thrown casually on a kitchen counter, money’s status has changed during the virus era — perhaps irrevocably. The pandemic has also reawakened debate about the continued viability of what has been
Green, spiky and with a strong, sweet smell, the bulky jackfruit has morphed from a backyard nuisance in India’s south coast into the meat-substitute darling of vegans and vegetarians in the West. Part of the South Asia’s diet for centuries, jackfruit was so abundant that tonnes of it went to waste every year. But now India, the world’s biggest producer of jackfruit, is capitalizing on its growing popularity as a “superfood” meat alternative — touted by chefs from San Francisco to London and Delhi for its pork-like texture when unripe. “There are a lot of inquiries from abroad... At the international level, the