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Classical image of man disappearing as fashion industry blurs line between men and women

© AFP Photo/Angela Weiss
Muscular, classically chiseled male models are a dying breed as men are ever more chosen for thinness, even androgyny, in a fashion world playing with the notion of gender.

It only takes looking back a decade to male fashion shows -- at Versace, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton or Gucci -- to see the change on the catwalk.

Shoulders have lost their squareness, chests have sunk.

Back then, "male models were a little bit bigger... not so, so skinny," said Tricia Romani, head of the Canadian branch of the Wilhelmina international modeling agency.

Hedi Slimane, while at Saint Laurent and Dior, was among the designers who transfigured the dominant vision of the masculine look into lank, languorous and unique.


Cops manhandle and pepper spray 15yr old girl after she was knocked unconscious in a bike accident

Police in Maryland have defended the pepper-spraying arrest of a 15-year-old girl as "justified" after police body-cam footage of the incident sparked protests.

The black teenager was arrested last Sunday by Hagerstown Police for "not cooperating" with officers after she allegedly hit a moving car with her bicycle.

Police released two officer bodycam videos of the incident Wednesday. In the footage, the girl refuses questioning and attempts to cycle away from officers who then pull her off the bike by her backpack and forcibly handcuff her hands behind her back.

Comment: Is this the standard procedure for cops to manhandle and pepper spray a 15-year-old girl after she was just knocked unconscious in a bike crash?! It seems almost unbelievable but for the fact that it's happening more and more all the time.


War weary U.S. soldiers deeply skeptical about America's foreign interventions

© Tim Wimborne / Reuters
A boy watches soldiers from the U.S. Army's Charlie Company during a patrol near Dokalam village in Kunar Province.
After 15 years of wars, a majority of US service members are deeply skeptical about America's foreign interventions. The US should focus on homeland defense and jobs instead of invading and "stabilizing" countries like Afghanistan or Iraq, a new poll shows.

Most active-duty members of the US military would prefer the government to refrain from overseas missions involving so-called nation-building, a number of costly and ambiguous efforts to reconstruct post-war countries, according to a poll run by the Military Times and Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF).

The survey, described by the Military Times as a first-of-its-kind study, included a question: "How do you view the US government's continued involvement in nation-building efforts, establishing democracies in the Middle East and North Africa using US military and financial support?"

About 55 percent of service members said they "strongly oppose"or "somewhat oppose" those efforts, while 23 percent responded positively to an idea of carrying out such missions. The remaining 22 percent were either unsure or of no opinion on the issue.

Dollar Gold

Sanctions not getting in the way of business as multiple nations plan investments in Crimea

© Sergey Malgavko / Reuters
Yalta as seen from the Black Sea. Crimea, Russia
Businessmen from Germany are ready to propose projects worth €250 million for Russia's Crimea and Sevastopol, according to Bernhard Miller, a member of the visiting German delegation to the peninsula.

"We are considering investing in the entire Crimean peninsula; first of all we are interested in recycling waste, secondly - in the activities related to hotels and tourism. We're talking about €250 million, but that's just to start with," he told reporters in Sevastopol.

Miller said regional authorities have expressed their willingness to cooperate but it's too early to talk about specific projects and the timing.

According to him, there are many businesses in Germany ready to invest in the Crimean economy despite sanctions. It's the second time a German delegation has visited the Crimea, Miller said, adding the first visit to the peninsula resulted in the establishment of the German-Russian Society for cultural and industrial relations. At present, the organization has about 80 participants.

Comment: The Crimeans chose wisely when they made the decision to become part of Russia as they now have the stability and peace that makes Crimea attractive to investors, unlike their Ukrainian neighbors.

As Ukraine flounders, Crimean economy grows up to 18 percent year-on-year

Cell Phone

Shocking moment woman distracted by her smartphone is hit and killed by a tram in Moscow

The woman, blissfully unaware she is standing between tram tracks, is engrossed in her smartphone as the tram approaches

Horrific footage has emerged of a woman obliviously using her smartphone unaware she is about to be hit and killed by a tram.

The pedestrian, who was standing on tram tracks, suddenly looks up but has no time to react or jump out of the way.

She was rushed to hospital in Moscow but died soon afterwards.

The tram had emerged from under a railway bridge and the female driver appears to see the woman late before trying in vain to stop.

Footage from the cab shows the driver opening the door to get out of the tram to help the woman.

The pedestrian was waiting to cross busy Rusakovskaya Street but was paying more attention to her mobile and seemed to be unaware she was standing in the path of a tram, which runs on tracks.

The name of the victim and the driver have not been made public.

Suddenly she looks up as the tram approaches and is caught in the glare of headlights


Plane forced to make emergency landing after cabin fills with smoke in Australia

© Courier Mail
The pilot switched off one of the plane's engines as a precaution
Video footage shows the cabin crew and passengers on a Jetstar flight panic as smoke appears.

One air hostess appears to be looking out the windows and another is on the phone trying to contact someone.

Passengers can be seen looking around as hazy spoke appears during an emergency landing.

At one point the overhead lights can be seen flickering on and off.

The flight from Sydney to Cairns in Australia, which departed at 3.40pm on Thursday, had to be diverted to Brisbane.

According to a statement on the airline's website, flight JQ956, encountered an issue with one of it's engines.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that passengers heard a scraping noise as the aircraft began to fill with smoke.

A Jetstar spokesperson told the Herald: "The captain decided to shut down one of the engines as a precaution and divert the aircraft to Brisbane."

People 2

Charlotte demonstrators defy curfew on third night of protests

Several hundred people defied a midnight curfew as protests in the US city of Charlotte continued for their third successive night.

Unlike on the two previous evenings, however, the demonstrations on Thursday were apparently entirely peaceful. The only encounter with police came when some protesters climbed onto Interstate 277 and stood in the middle of the highway. A line of police officers with shields and face masks advanced on the protesters, and many dispersed and climbed back up embankments off the road.

The demonstrators - protesting over the shooting dead of a black man by police on Tuesday - eventually dispersed at around 1.40am. Before doing so, they huddled together and raised their right fists into the air.

"Don't forget our message," said one of the protest leader, who gave his name as Chewy Torres. "Last night the news showed us looking like looters. We have to know what we stand for. We have to respond with love."

Mayor Jennifer Roberts had signed documents on Thursday night to put in effect a curfew in the North Carolina city from midnight until 6am. But as midnight passed, several hundred protesters continued to march and chant and it became clear that police would not enforce the rule while the crowds remained peaceful. The presence of up to 100 members of the clergy among the protesters was credited by many as helping keep things peaceful.

Comment: See also: Witnesses refute public account of killing of Justin Carr at Charlotte protest - say it was police ambush

Eye 1

Police officers resign after forcing teen to eat marijuana during traffic stop

Three Phoenix police officers resigned, while a lieutenant was demoted after they forced a 19-year-old to eat marijuana at a predawn traffic stop. The cops were wearing body cameras that were turned off at the time.

Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner named three officers who have resigned following a September 13 incident, where they pulled over a 19-year-old at 3:30 a.m. and found that he had a gram of marijuana in his vehicle. Instead of taking the young man to jail, they offered him an alternative: eat the drugs and go home.

Naturally, he took the option that did not involve spending time in jail for a drug charge. He brought the matter to the department's attention later and reported that after eating the weed, he received a traffic ticket and was allowed to leave. He was sick as a result, Arizona Republic reported.

All three of the officers had been members of the Phoenix Police Department for less than a year. However, one of them was in fact a 10-year veteran of the force, transferring from the Chicago Police Department.


Witnesses refute public account of killing of Justin Carr at Charlotte protest - say it was police ambush

© Todd Zimmer / Facebook
Protests in uptown Charlotte took a violent turn when a protester was shot outside the Omni Hotel. The protester, identified as Justin Carr, has died, and now eyewitnesses tell RT they blame the police. Meanwhile, an investigation is ongoing.

Wednesday night's demonstrations in Charlotte became a riot after the shooting of a protester named Justin Carr. On Thursday, he was pronounced dead after being shot in the head, and tensions risk increasing with witnesses blaming police and the initial police position being it was a civilian-on-civilian attack.

The uprising in Charlotte was inspired by the death of Keith Scott who was shot by police Monday. Some came to protest the police department's refusal to release the footage from the officer in question's dash cam. Others came to show their support for efforts to end police brutality, and some agitators also convened.

The City of Charlotte tweeted Wednesday night that the shooting in uptown Charlotte was "civilian on civilian," and "CMPD did not fire shot." However, other demonstrators dispute that version of events and claim that the police ambushed Justin Carr.


In a country so 'exceptional': For New York City seniors, it's not safe to go outside

© NY Post
Maria Altagracia Vasquez, 94, was in a clothing store called Regines on 116th Street on Sept. 7 when a young male thief followed her into the store and took $600 in cash from her.
They're robbed as they walk their dogs, go on moonlit strolls or sit waiting for buses. They're robbed as they lean on their canes or sit in their wheelchairs. In some cases, they're shoved to the ground and even kicked while they're down.

More than once a day on average this year, someone over the age of 65 was mugged somewhere in New York City. And the numbers are up, particularly in the Bronx and Manhattan.

City seniors know they are vulnerable — and given the choice between safety and freedom, they're choosing the former, limiting what they do and where they go in order to keep safe.

"It's not right that they are targeting senior citizens," Jorge Baiz, 75, said as he sat in his motorized wheelchair outside the Soundview Senior Center in the Bronx. "It's scary. That's why when the sun goes down, I go home. I am not outside at night."

Strong-arm robberies of senior citizens are up 7.8 percent citywide, stats show. There were 316 this year through Sept. 18, compared with the 293 for the same period last year. Muggings of the elderly were markedly higher in Manhattan South, with 43 seniors victimized between Jan. 1 and Sept. 18 — nearly a 140 percent increase over the same period last year.