Check Her Out: Kim Zolciak Flaunts Her Slim Post-Baby Body In The Latest Issue Of ‘Life & Style’


Check Her Out: Kim Zolciak Flaunts Her Slim Post-Baby Body In The Latest Issue Of ‘Life Style’


Source: NY Daily News

Source: Life Style

Former Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Kim Zolciak is looking absolutely fabulous to say that she gave birth to her fourth child less than six months ago. The 34-year-old is showing off fantastic post-baby body in the latest issue of Life Style  Magazine. The reality star revealed that she’s lost 30 lbs so far and that she intends to go down to a size 2.

“I’m a size 4 right now, and my goal is to get down to a size 2. I’m accepting that I’m going to have to hit the gym — my girls laugh and say there’s no chance, but I really think I’m going to have to,” she expressed to Life Style.

Kim also revealed that she’s less than 10 lbs heavier than she was when she first got pregnant and that she believes breastfeeding may have helped her to shed a few pounds.

“I think breast-feeding helped me lose some weight, and I was really busy as soon as I got home with Kash. I went straight into filming my spin-off show, Don’t Be Tardy and I’m sure that helped. I just never sat still!”

Her slim-down doesn’t appear to be all luck though. The mom of four also dished on some of her healthy dieting habits.

“I don’t eat red meat or pork or much dairy, and I always eat in moderation.”

In case you were wondering, she also briefly touched on her departure from Real Housewives of Atlanta.

“I will be forever grateful for some of the moments that occurred on the show, but I couldn’t deal anymore. Being pregnant puts a whole new spin on everything, and what happens on the outside affects what happens with the baby on the inside, and that was my priority.”

Well, whatever she’s doing, it’s working for her. I know Kim probably isn’t our favorite person in the world, but we’d be haters to not give credit where it’s due and truthfully, she looks amazing.

What were some of your tricks and tips for shedding post-baby weight?

Jazmine Denise is a news writer for madamenoire.com. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise


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Putin offers Gérard Depardieu Russian citizenship

It was the sort of below-the-belt blow François Hollande could have done without. Still reeling from a series of political thumps at home and abroad, the French president received his first bloody nose of 2013 courtesy of a right hook from Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

The Kremlin’s announcement that Putin had signed official papers granting Russian citizenship to French national hero Gérard “Gégé” Depardieu hit home. It also turned what had seemed a somewhat comic hissy fit between the actor and his government into an international spat.

Hollande should have seen it coming. Ever since Depardieu, 64, entered the political ring to spar with his country’s leadership over taxes weeks ago, this was a punch waiting to be landed.

Enraged at having his decision to leave France for fiscal exile in neighbouring Belgium described by French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault as “shabby”, Depardieu, star of the Hollywood film Green Card, had turned bellicose, threatening to give up his French passport.

And there, given that France’s civil code requires a citizen to have another nationality in order to relinquish being French, the melodrama might have ended, had Putin not joined the fray.

On Thursday Moscow praised the actor, saying Depardieu had earned his new passport for his contributions to Russian culture and cinema. Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary, told the Interfax news agency that Depardieu’s portrayal of Grigory Rasputin, notorious for the hypnotic power he wielded over Tsar Nicholas II’s imperial family, in a new film was “daring and new”.

Since Hollande, the self-anointed Monsieur Normal, took power in May last year his domestic popularity has plummeted. He struggled to rise above accusations that he is a political lightweight while blow upon blow fell: a credit agency downgrade, rising unemployment and spluttering growth, to name a few.

The French president’s 75% supertax on annual earnings above €1m (£800,000) – a key election pledge – may have been primarily symbolic, but when France’s highest court, the constitutional council, struck it down last weekend as unfair and unconstitutional – mostly because of sloppy drafting – Hollande was left facing damaging accusations of amateurism.

Abroad, other European notables have lined up to put in the boot. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, made it clear that she disagrees with Hollande’s claims that the euro crisis is over, and David Cameron, along with London mayor Boris Johnson, offered to roll out the red carpet to those seeking to pay less tax.

Depardieu aside, the billionaire Bernard Arnault, head of the luxury goods group Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is seeking Belgian nationality. Alain Afflelou, the king of high-street opticians, has announced a move to London but denied he would be a tax exile. This week musician Jean Michel Jarre announced a possible London project but denied a move for tax reasons. Ligue 1, the French premier league, has breathed a sigh of relief that it can continue paying its stars multimillion-euro salaries without also having to settle their tax bills.

Putin’s ill-timed announcement is not the first occasion he and Hollande have clashed. The pair squared up less than a month after the French president took power, over Syria. In a meeting at the Élysée in June described by the French press as “muscular”, Hollande emerged, in the words of Le Figaro newspaper, “like a boxer, relieved and a bit groggy” after his encounter with “battling Putin”.

French government spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem refused to comment on the Russian’s gesture, saying it was “his exclusive prerogative”. “It’s a choice for the head of the Russian state,” she said.

Kremlin officials suggested that Depardieu would be the first of many tax refugees to head for Russia, which has a flat income tax rate of 13%, and where the actor is perhaps best known for his starring role in Sovietski Bank advertisements.

“In the west they are not well acquainted with our tax system,” deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Twitter. “When they find out, we can expect a mass migration of rich Europeans into Russia.”

During a press conference last month, Putin talked of his “warm personal relationship” with Depardieu and said the actor thought of himself as a “European and a citizen of the world”.

Putin is not Depardieu’s only high-profile friend. The actor is due to star in a film written by Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of authoritarian Uzbek leader Islam Karimov. And he is on first-name terms with Ramzan Kadyrov, the Moscow-backed ruler of Chechnya who is accused of widespread human rights abuses, including the torture and murder of political opponents.

Visting Chechnya during the strongman’s birthday celebrations in October, video footage shows Depardieu shouting from a stage: “Glory to Chechnya! Glory to Kadyrov!”

Depardieu’s nationality change – which the actor has yet to officially accept or confirm – was welcomed by Kadyrov. “It’s good news,” he wrote on Twitter, repeating an invitation for the star to come and live in Grozny, the Chechen capital flattened during two bloody separatist wars after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Soviet film director Stanislav Govorukhin, who ran Putin’s presidential re-election campaign last year, was less impressed.

“He’s just another drunkard,” he said of Depardieu. “I don’t like this sycophancy towards foreigners,” he told the Russian News Service.

Making Pet Health a Priority




January 2, 2013

As many Americans start the new year with the goal of getting healthier, you might want to do the same for your pets.

Dr. John Andersen at Monticello Animal Hospital said overweight animals, especially dogs, are one of the most common issues he sees in his office.

“A lot of times it is not really obvious to the owners and some people are very surprised when I tell them their dog is 10 or 15 pounds overweight,” Andersen said.

Andersen said it’s easier to tell when a larger dog has packed on too many pounds.

“It’s a lot more obvious in the bigger dogs because there’s a lot more fat,” he said.

Andersen said, no matter if the dog is large or small, if it’s overweight, it’s most likely because of an over-feeding problem, not because it’s not getting enough playtime.

“Exercise usually has nothing to do with whether your dog is overweight or not,” Andersen said. “Yes, exercise burns calories and is good, but you have to usually do so much activity to burn off the amount of extra calories you’re feeding your pet that it just isn’t feasible.”

According to Andersen, for a 60-pound dog, a small Milk-Bone treat is like eating a donut for a human. A similar snack for a smaller dog is equivalent to a few ice cream sundaes. And, just as you should monitor calories, you should also monitor the kind of food you feed your pets.

“A lot of people get into trouble because a substantial portion of the dog’s calorie intake is coming from table food or snacks and that’s just harder to regulate.”

But doing all the calculations can be confusing to a pet owner, according to Pattie Boden, owner of Charlottesville pet food shop Animal Connections.

“The packaging is beautiful and everybody has bright, shiny pictures of meats and vegetables on the label,” Boden said. “The labels are hard to read as far as the contents.”

Her top tip for shoppers is to ask as many questions as possible so they really know what’s in the food and if it’s a good match for their pet.

When switching to a new brand of food, Andersen said you want to pay extra attention to those nutrition labels. Just because you fed your dog a cup of one brand doesn’t mean a cup of another brand has the same caloric value.

Andersen said cats aren’t as commonly overweight. But if you do have a fat feline, you might be feeding it too many carbohydrates, especially if your cat is on a dry food diet.

“Sometimes switching to canned cat food, which has a lot less carbs and more protein, is the ticket to really getting their metabolism to work better and getting them to lose weight,” said Andersen.

Tabloid on Tom Cruise lawsuit on Suri abandonment claims: “Substantially True”!

Tom Cruise sued the publisher of Life Style and In Touch Weekly in October for defamation over stories claiming he had “abandoned” his   6 year-old daughter Suri following hi divorce with Katie Holmes.

tomc

But Bauer Publishing co fired back against Cruise’s $50 million lawsuit.

In an answer to the lawsuit, Bauer asserts that it’s not liable for damages because, among other things, “ome or all of the allegedly defamatory statements complained of by the plaintiff are true or substantially true.”

And they added that Cruise “cannot prove that he has suffered any compensable damage as a result of any actionable statement published by the Bauer Defendants,” and that he is “a public figure and the Bauer Defendants did not act with actual malice.”

Cruise’s attorney has not responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

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China’s Great Famine: the true story

Small and stocky, neat in dress and mild of feature, Yang Jisheng is an unassuming figure as he bustles through the pleasantly shabby offices, an old-fashioned satchel thrown over one shoulder. Since his retirement from China‘s state news agency he has worked at the innocuously titled Annals of the Yellow Emperor journal, where stacks of documents cover chipped desks and a cockroach circles our paper cups of green tea.

  1. Tombstone: The Untold Story of Mao’s Great Famine

  2. by

    Yang Jisheng


  3. Buy it from the Guardian bookshop
  1. Tell us what you think: Star-rate and review this book

Yet the horror stories penned by the 72-year-old from this comforting, professorial warren in Beijing are so savage and excessive they could almost be taken as the blackest of comedies; the bleakest of farces; the most extreme of satires on fanaticism and tyranny.

A decade after the Communist party took power in 1949, promising to serve the people, the greatest manmade disaster in history stalks an already impoverished land. In an unremarkable city in central Henan province, more than a million people – one in eight – are wiped out by starvation and brutality over three short years. In one area, officials commandeer more grain than the farmers have actually grown. In barely nine months, more than 12,000 people – a third of the inhabitants – die in a single commune; a tenth of its households are wiped out. Thirteen children beg officials for food and are dragged deep into the mountains, where they die from exposure and starvation. A teenage orphan kills and eats her four-year-old brother. Forty-four of a village’s 45 inhabitants die; the last remaining resident, a woman in her 60s, goes insane. Others are tortured, beaten or buried alive for declaring realistic harvests, refusing to hand over what little food they have, stealing scraps or simply angering officials.

When the head of a production brigade dares to state the obvious – that there is no food – a leader warns him: “That’s right-deviationist thinking. You’re viewing the problem in an overly simplistic matter.”

Page after page – even in the drastically edited English translation, there are 500 of them – his book, Tombstone, piles improbability upon terrible improbability. But Yang did not imagine these scenes. Perhaps no one could. Instead, he devoted 15 years to painstakingly documenting the catastrophe that claimed at least 36 million lives across the country, including that of his father.

The Great Famine remains a taboo in China, where it is referred to euphemistically as the Three Years of Natural Disasters or the Three Years of Difficulties. Yang’s monumental account, first published in Hong Kong, is banned in his homeland.

He had little idea of what he would find when he started work: “I didn’t think it would be so serious and so brutal and so bloody. I didn’t know that there were thousands of cases of cannibalism. I didn’t know about farmers who were beaten to death.

“People died in the family and they didn’t bury the person because they could still collect their food rations; they kept the bodies in bed and covered them up and the corpses were eaten by mice. People ate corpses and fought for the bodies. In Gansu they killed outsiders; people told me strangers passed through and they killed and ate them. And they ate their own children. Terrible. Too terrible.”

For a moment he stops speaking.

“To start with, I felt terribly depressed when I was reading these documents,” he adds. “But after a while I became numbed – because otherwise I couldn’t carry on.”

Whether it is due to this process, or more likely his years working within the system, Yang is absolutely self-possessed. His grandfatherly smile is intermittently clipped by caution as he answers a question. Though a sense of deep anger imbues his book, it is all the more powerful for its restraint.

“There’s something about China that seems to require sharp-elbowed intellectuals,” says Jo Lusby, head of China operations for Penguin, the publishers of Tombstone. “But the people with the loudest voices aren’t necessarily the ones with the most interesting things to say. Yang Jisheng comes across as a sweet old man, but he has a core of steel. He has complete integrity.”

He is, she points out, part of a generation of quietly committed scholars. Despite its apparently quaint title, Annals of the Yellow Emperor is a bold liberal journal that has repeatedly tackled sensitive issues. But writing Tombstone was also a personal mission. Yang was determined to “erect a tombstone for my father”, the other victims and the system that killed them.

The book opens with Yang’s return from school to find his father dying: “He tried to extend his hand to greet me but couldn’t lift it … I was shocked with the realisation that ‘skin and bones’ referred to something so horrible and cruel,” he writes.

His village had become a ghost town, with fields dug bare of shoots and trees stripped of bark. For all his remorse and grief, he regarded the death as an individual family’s tragedy: “I was 18 at the time and I only knew what the Communist party told me. Everyone was fooled,” he says. “I was very red. I was on a propaganda team and I believed my father’s death was a personal misfortune. I never thought it was the government’s problem.”


famine - starving children in Shanghai
A manmade disaster … starving children in Shanghai. Photograph: TopFoto Photograph: Topography/ TopFoto

He joined state news agency Xinhua after his graduation, while the political madness of the Cultural Revolution was wreaking fresh havoc on the country: “When I look back on what I wrote [in that first decade], I should have burned all of it,” he says. Even as he wrote his paeans to the party, his job began to offer glimpses of the truth behind the facade. One day, he was shocked to overhear a senior leader in Hubei province say that 300,000 people had died there – the first hint that his father’s death was not an isolated incident. It was, he says, a gradual awakening. He continued to work for Xinhua, a task made easier by the country’s reform and opening process and his own evolution; by the third decade of his career, he says, “I had my independent thinking and was telling the truth.” That was when his work on Tombstone began: “I just had a very strong desire to find out the facts. I was cheated and I don’t want to be cheated again.”

Paradoxically, it was his work for Xinhua that enabled him to unearth the truth about the famine, as he toured archives on the pretext of a dull project on state agricultural policies, armed with official letters of introduction.

Numerous people helped him along the way; local officials and other Xinhua staff. Did they realise what he was working on? “Yes, they knew,” he says.

Only once, at the archives of south-western Guizhou, was he almost rumbled. “The people who worked there said: ‘We can’t just let you in; you need permission from the director,'” Yang recalls. “The director said: ‘I have to get permission from the provincial party vice–secretary.’ So we drove to see the provincial party vice–secretary. He said: ‘I have to ask the party secretary.’ The party secretary said: ‘I have to ask the central government.'”

He pauses. “If the central government had known, I would have been in a lot of trouble.” Yang made his excuses and left.

Half a century on, the government still treats the famine as a natural disaster and denies the true death toll. “The root problem is the problem of the system. They don’t dare to admit the system’s problems … It might influence the legitimacy of the Communist party,” Yang says.

The death toll is staggering. “The most officials have admitted is 20 million,” he says, but he puts the total at 36 million. It is “equivalent to 450 times the number of people killed by the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki … and greater than the number of people killed in the first world war,” he writes. Many think even this is a conservative figure: in his acclaimed book Mao’s Great Famine, Frank Dikotter estimates that the toll reached at least 45 million.

Tombstone meticulously demonstrates that the famine was not only vast, but manmade; and not only manmade but political, born of totalitarianism. Mao Zedong had vowed to build a communist paradise in China through sheer revolutionary zeal, collectivising farmland and creating massive communes at astonishing speed. In 1958 he sought to go further, launching the Great Leap Forward: a plan to modernise the entire Chinese economy so ambitious that it tipped over into insanity.

Many believe personal ambition played a crucial role. Not satisfied with being “the most powerful emperor who had ever ruled China”, Mao strove to snatch leadership of the international communist movement. If the Soviet Union believed it could catch up with the US in 15 years, he vowed, China could overtake Britain in production. His vicious attacks on other leaders who dared to voice concern cowed opposition. But, as Yang notes: “It’s a very complicated historical process, why China believed in Maoism and took this path. It wasn’t one person’s mistake but many people’s. It was a process.”

The plan proved a disaster from the first. Local officials, either from fanaticism or fear, sent grossly exaggerated reports of their success to the centre, proclaiming harvests three or four times their true size. Higher authorities claimed huge amounts of grain for the cities and even dispatched it overseas. Cadres harassed or killed those who sought to tell the truth and covered up deaths when reports of problems trickled to the centre.

Even so, work by Yang and others has proved that senior leaders in Beijing knew of the famine as early as 1958. “To distribute resources evenly will only ruin the Great Leap Forward,” Mao warned colleagues a year later. “When there is not enough to eat, people starve to death. It is better to let half the people die so that others can eat their fill.”

Ruthlessness ran through the system. In Xinyang, the Henan city at the centre of the disaster, those who tried to escape the famine were rounded up; many died of starvation or from brutality in detention centres. Police hunted down those who wrote anonymous letters raising the alarm. Attempts to control the population tipped over into outright sadism, with cadres torturing victims in increasingly elaborate, ritualistic ways: “The textbooks don’t mention this part of history at all,” says Yang. “At every festival they have propaganda about the party’s achievements and glory and greatness and correctness. People’s ideology has been formed over many years. So right now it’s very necessary to write this book; otherwise nobody has this history.”

There are signs that at least some in China want to address it. Last year, the Southern People’s Weekly dared to publish an issue with the words “Great Famine” emblazoned starkly across the cover. Inside, an article referred to the calamity as a manmade problem.

Yang is convinced that Tombstone will be published on the mainland, maybe within the decade. He adds with a smile that there are probably 100,000 copies already in circulation, including pirated versions and those smuggled from Hong Kong: “There are a lot of things people overseas know first and Chinese people learn from overseas,” he points out.

But in other ways the shutters are coming down. Zhou Xun, whose new book, The Great Famine in China, collects original documents on the disaster for the first time, writes that much of that material has already been made inaccessible by archives.

“Researching it is going to become harder. They are not going to let people look at this stuff any more,” warns Beijing author and photographer Du Bin, whose forthcoming book, No One In The World Can Defeat Me, juxtaposes accounts and images of the horror with the cheery propaganda of the time.

In China, history cannot be safely contained within a book; it always threatens to spill over: “Although many years have passed, the Communist party is still in charge of the country,” says Yang. “They admit it, but they don’t want to talk about it; it’s still a tragedy under the Communist party’s governance.”

Some hope that the new generation of leaders taking power may be willing to revisit the country’s history and acknowledge the mistakes that have been made. Others think it will be easy for them to continue smoothing over the past. “Because the party has been improving and society has improved and everything is better, it’s hard for people to believe the brutality of that time,” Yang notes.

He recalls meeting a worker from Xinyang who lost two family members to the famine. The man’s teenage grandson simply could not believe his recollections, and the pair ended up rowing. Yet the power of the truth to reshape China is manifest in its effect on Yang himself: “I was a very conservative person growing up with a Communist education. My mind was very simple. Now, my mind is liberated. I believe China should move forward to democracy and market economy,” he says.

He is, says Lusby, a true patriot; his diligent and risky work is not just for his father and himself, but for his country: “The Chinese people were cheated. They need real history.”

Porky and Buddy Pet Health – Time for New Years Resolutions

Dear Readers,
It’s that time of year and we thought would make some New Years Resolutions.

Here they are:

This year we will obey your commands, or suggestions, as the case may be.  Of course it would help if we could figure out what they are. When one of you says “sit,” and someone else says “down,” and then someone says “stop that,” it takes us a while to figure out that you all mean the same thing.

This year, we will not counter surf unless you specifically put something on the counter for us. Of course, we have no idea what the difference is between cat food or a dog treat and a Christmas cookie, so it would help if you would simply not put anything on the counter that you don’t want us to eat and then nonchalantly walk away as though you had left it there for us. Honestly, we can’t tell the difference and food is food.

This year we will not come barging into the house with muddy wet feet ten times per day. Of course, we have to go out at least a few times per day and it would be a lot nicer if you would just go out with us and then we would all have to wipe our feet together and it would be fun and not a chore.

This year we will not act like big babies when we have to go to the vet. Even though we have no clue what you are talking about when you say, “Don’t worry she’s going to make you feel all better.” Of course it would help if you would bring treats along when we go.  We fully understand that treats do make us feel better.

And speaking of treats (and also counter-surfing, see resolution #2) this year we will all lose weight. That means you, too. Of course, that is easier if there are lots of walks (see resolution #3).

This year we will not get on the bed or any other furniture (unless you specifically say it’s OK). It is a total mystery to us why you would not want us to snuggle up with you for naps, but we can accept that. Of course, we will need lots of comfy beds and chairs and pillows of our own. And don’t expect us to be able to tell the difference between one people chair that is OK and another one that is not. We are not rocket scientists and a comfy spot is a comfy spot.

And finally, this year we will love you unconditionally, even if you fail to fulfill all the conditions that make our other resolutions feasible (as described above). Because that is what we do. We are good for you.

Happy New Year!

Speaking of Happy New Year, how about making yours happy by adopting a new pet?

You can find a brand new friend and start the year out right by going to www.oswegohumane.org to see all of our pets for adoption.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter assistance, information and referral, adoption assistance to pet owners, humane education programs, foster care and adoption for pets in urgent need, assistance with lost and found pets to animal lovers across Oswego County.

Our administrative offices and spay/neuter clinic are located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.

Check our web site at www.oswegohumane.org or call (315) 207-1070 for more information or to be placed on our mailing list for our newsletter.

Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.